Planetree Visionary Design Network

In 2009, Planetree introduced a certification program for design-focused organizations to further recognize these firms as exemplars in cultural integration of patient-centered design methods. The Planetree Visionary Design Network certification process establishes these firms as specialists in evidence-based health care design, sustainability, community outreach, and most importantly, a focus on the Planetree philosophy and its core components of healing design. By demonstrating commitment to key aspects such as respect for privacy, quieter environments, welcoming a patient’s family and friends, valuing human beings over technology, enabling patients to fully participate as care partners, the Network is working to further educate the public about the connection between culture and the environment.



To further the art and science of Planetree Design through the development of an international network of design professionals who share a passion and commitment to the Planetree design philosophy with a positive impact on global health and healing.


Through a collaborative forum, the Visionary Design Network will provide their insight, expertise and guidance in support of the advancement of Planetree design in all health care settings. This will include research, development and evaluation of the key elements in healing environments. It is the ultimate goal that all Planetree facilities will enhance the experience for patients, staff and visitors, all the while creating efficient and effective operations in the health care facility.


By providing Design Professionals with a framework for enhancing their healing environment practice and applying these principles to a Planetree facility, we will:

  • Inspire creativity and excellence in the design of healing environments
  • Develop a learning community amongst the design professionals through the use of the website and other media vehicles
  • Provide Design Professionals with a forum to further their knowledge of the Planetree Model of Care
  • Give the affiliates,  and future affiliates,  a reference and toolkit to help them best develop their projects in a truly patient-centered model

These members of the Visionary Design Network have exhibited not only their expertise in health care design, but have excelled in creating cultures of collaboration and innovation within their own firm.

Aesthetics, Inc. (

Aesthetics, Inc. is a national, multidisciplinary design firm, founded in 1980, that specializes in patient-centered, holistic design and planning. Our cohesive teams combine interior design, graphic design, display design, way finding, and art consultation services into powerful tools that enhance health care environments.

Our goal is to assist our clients in expressing their vision, uniqueness and aspirations throughout the design of their health-care facilities, and to provide enriched experiences for their patients, visitors and staff.We have a number of specialty projects particularly suited to Planetree affiliates.

We collaborate with the facility’s design teams, Planetree coordinators, clinical and patient advisory committees to co-create environments that enhance health and support the healing journey.

From simple to complex design—from $2 thousand to $2 million—we approach each project with the same high-level commitment. Aesthetics’ skilled and experienced staff commit to understanding your organization thoroughly to help you to vividly express both vision and uniqueness.

Our team includes architects, interior designers, graphic designers, arts consultants, fundraising professionals and marketing experts, working in a culture that is collegial, collaborative, and interdependent.

Albert Kahn Family of Companies (

Our story goes back to the late 19th century when an innovative and passionate architect named Albert Kahn founded this firm in 1895. Over the years the Kahn family of professionals and companies has grown and expanded. Our passion is to inspire innovative facility designs that advance the art of patient centered care, support the emotional and physical needs of patients, and streamline the functions of caregivers. In 2009 the firm was certified by Planetree as one of five Founding Firms of the Planetree Visionary Design Network (PVDN).

We are committed to the Planetree Principles and are proud to have completed nine Planetree hospitals, including six new hospitals for Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, the new Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Elmhurst, Illinois, and the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In 2005, we joined the U.S. Green Building Council, and nearly 100 of our professional staff are LEED accredited professionals. The firm has designed four LEED certified hospitals.

Boulder Associates, Inc. (www.boulder

Boulder Associates Architects has exclusively specialized in healthcare and senior living design since our founding in 1983. With offices in Colorado and northern and southern California, Boulder Associates maintains a staff of over 70 architects, interior designers and other professionals who all share a belief in the power of design to enrich lives.Our passion to set new standards for healthy healing environments invariably brought us to our involvement with Planetree. Years of commitment to the organization and a strong alliance with their mission and goals led to our successful certification in becoming a member of the Planetree Visionary Design Network in 2010.

Our goal is to become a leader in design for health and aging by establishing ourselves as trusted advisors to our clients, and serving their goals and missions as our own. We do this by bringing our person-centered design approach, strong technical expertise, and reputation for client service to serve the most progressive healthcare and senior living organizations all across the country.

CAMA, Inc. (

Since 1983, CAMA, Inc. has developed evidence-based design solutions that have had a positive impact on the quality of life – whether for living, working, playing, healing, or learning. An interior environment should reflect who our client is, and where they are going. It should capture their vision, support their mission, and help them accomplish their goals with an outcomes-based approach to interior design interventions. Those interiors should also influence the behavior of those who enter – patients or staff, friends or family, customers or employees, students or faculty. Involvement of those constituencies in the evidence-based process allows for a richer solution that brands a facility for its users.

CAMA collaborates with clients, their constituents and experts in other fields, understands current industry trends, and applies research-based knowledge to create these environments.  Clients nationwide including Yale-New Haven Health System, Princeton Healthcare System, OhioHealth, Medical College of Georgia Health, and The University Medical Center of El Paso utilize our deep understanding of how thoughtful design creates interior environments that improve outcomes.

C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group (

For Cornelia C. Hodgson, the belief that environments affect people’s behavior – that design matters – has been an unwavering belief and guiding principle that has shaped the vision of C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group.  Our passion for senior living has led us to create environments that not only form the function of a space, but greatly enrich the person’s experience within that space.

Our experience in the full continuum of senior living includes a specialized focus on dementia care, short-term rehabilitation, therapy, and wellness centers, including aquatic centers, long-term care, and the innovative model of household-design community living centers.  We translate our clients’ visions into innovative architectural solutions through careful listening, focusing on providing sensitive and healing design with a highly personalized approach to creating environments that foster quality of life for residents, patients, staff, and families.

Our focus on healing environments began more than 20 years ago while studying design issues related to the process of aging and seeing the natural correlation between healing and wellbeing.  As we embraced gerontological trends in design, including the resident-centered philosophy of the Eden Alternative, hospital design was taking a parallel path that for us has converged in our work with the VA Community Living Centers.

In the past decade there has been a change in the approach senior living communities take toward wellness, a philosophy that promotes enrichment of life.  We strongly believe in the shift from a traditional healthcare model of design to a person-centered model shifting the emphasis from illness to wellness and from disability to ability.  Our holistic approach to senior living and healthcare design is rooted in a Whole-Person Wellness philosophy in which we evaluate our designs against the six dimensions of wellness – physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, vocational, and emotional.

With offices in Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, and Washington D.C., C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group has committed significant resources to architectural research.  We have a long-standing belief in evidence-based design, which can greatly augment sound experience and judgment to further validate specific architectural concepts and approaches.


Design Partnership (

The Design Partnership, Architects & Planners, is the design resource for clients obsessed with creating top‐quality Planetree patient‐centered environments of care. Our architects, strategists, planners, and designers partner with thoughtful clients to build medical facilities that enhance the lives of all occupants and inspire innovation in every user.

The Design Partnership, established in 1979, is now ranked among the largest San Francisco Bay Area Architecture firms. Our work has been recognized with multiple design awards from the Modern Healthcare/AIA National Committee on Architecture for Health; the AIA San Francisco; The Society of Critical Care Medicine; and AIA/Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Service to every patient and healthcare provider is our core mission. For our nations’ veterans we have planned and built VA facilities for mental health care, ambulatory care, polytrauma and blind rehabilitation, surgery, and improved campus infrastructure. Working with the VA’s Office of Mental Health Services we helped formulate and illustrate the recovery‐oriented, patient‐centered guidelines in the VA’s 2010 Design Guide for Mental Health Facilities.

Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. (

“Anyone who has a passion for design should also have a passion for humanity.” This is the belief of ESa’s founder Earl Swensson and the guiding principle on which he founded the firm in 1961. Human-centered design and the provision of personal service form the core of ESa’s existence.

In recognition of the firm’s beliefs and practices, Planetree inducted ESa into the Planetree Visionary Design Network in 2009 as one of five charter member architecture and design firms, validating ESa’s 50 years of creating healing healthcare environments designed to lift human spirits and improve outcomes.

With architects registered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, ESa has worked in 48 states as well as 16 countries. Over 90 percent of the firm’s work is in healthcare design, including new greenfield and expansions/renovations of hospitals, medical centers, specialty facilities and medical office buildings as well as senior living design. ESa is consistently ranked among the top healthcare design firms in the country by Modern Healthcare.

Herman Miller Healthcare (

Herman Miller Healthcare is proud to be the first manufacturer member of the Planetree Visionary Design Network.

It’s a powerful thing when you find someone whose vision aligns with your own.  That’s why Herman Miller Healthcare is so pleased to join forces with Planetree.  Founded in 1978, this non-profit organization believes, like us, that healthcare should revolve around the needs of patients. It also trusts in the power of design to help improve the healing process for patients, their friends and family, and caregivers.

Planetree aims to personalize, humanize, and demystify healthcare, beginning and ending with the patient in mind. Herman Miller Healthcare believes in the Power of Space, creating physical environments that focus on people to help transform the way caregivers work and patients feel.

For over 40 years, Herman Miller Healthcare and Nemschoff have been helping to create healing environments that are customized to the needs of patients.  Our values have taught us to focus on the people using our designs as a source for insight and problem solving. Since our start, this philosophy has helped us become a pioneer of patient-centered solutions for healthcare.

Herman Miller Healthcare and Nemschoff represent the industry’s most comprehensive product offering for healthcare interiors. Our portfolio spans the continuum of care, from exam spaces and labs to caregiver workstations, patient rooms, and administrative workplaces. With this unmatched breadth, we’re uniquely able to help you create a seamless functional and aesthetic experience—across a single facility or an entire healthcare system.

By taking part in Planetree’s Visionary Design Network, we can draw on our collective research and design expertise to guide others in creating patient-centered healing spaces.  To learn more about Herman Miller Healthcare and the power of space visit

HMC Architects, Inc. (

Since 1940, HMC Architects has grown to be one of the most prominent designers of education and healthcare facilities in the West, growing largely on the recommendations and accolades of our clients. Today, HMC is over 400 professionals, located in eleven offices and continues to focus on facilities that enhance our communities. HMC has the honor of having designed more healthcare facilities than any other firm in the West.

HMC is one of five firms to become an inaugural Certified Member of the Planetree Visionary Design Network. This certification reflects our commitment to a patient-centered care and design philosophy. We understand the effect design has on the healing process and incorporate relevant research to achieve positive patient outcomes.  Planetree concepts are used to create a patient and family-centered care environment with the goals of personalizing, humanizing, and demystifying healthcare.

As a leader in healthcare architecture, we are also committed to scientific research of evidence based design and bringing evidence to the art of architecture. We continue to strive to create buildings that may save lives, money, or improve outcomes.

Huelat Parimucha LTD. (

The mission of Huelat Parimucha Limited has always been to improve outcomes through design.  A healing environment will enhance the user’s experience, promote healing and provide a sense of well-being and a positive outlook.  Patients, families and staff members welcome our inclusion of nature in design, bringing vitality and warmth to what is often considered a cold and clinical environment.

It’s ironic that a place of healing can actually be a dangerous environment. Every year the death toll from hospital acquired infections and hospital accidents exceed that of cancer, car accidents and plane crashes. In response, Joe Parimucha and Barbara Huelat formed Huelat Parimucha, Ltd. with the goal of improving patient outcomes through design. This firm has earned a global reputation for creating healing environments that enhance the user experience.

Kahler Slater (

Kahler Slater is a 103-year old boutique design firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with offices in Madison, WI and Singapore.  We have been working with health care clients around the world for over 90 years to design everything from full replacement hospitals to small clinic renovations – all in an effort to create a better experience for those in need of care.  We have a multi-disciplinary team that works with our clients including: architects, planners, interior designers, researchers, clinical and Lean operational experts.  We strongly believe in the importance of the patient experience.    Our approach centers on creating the most ideal and differentiating experience for patients and those that care for them–staff, physicians, friends and family.

Kahler Slater is dedicated to utilizing evidence-based design to create health care environments that improve outcomes. As such, the firm supports a robust research team who works to ensure that the health care team is utilizing the latest research and thinking related to evidence-based design. Kahler Slater is the nation’s first “champion firm” for the new Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) program spearheaded by The Center for Health Design.

S/L/A/M Collaborative (

Since 1989, The S/L/A/M Collaborative has been at the forefront of implementing Planetree designs and has played an integral role in the development of patient and family focused care in hospitals throughout the United States. With offices in Atlanta, Boston, Connecticut and NY, SLAM is a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary architectural firm that offers an array of services including facility master planning, space programming, interior design, structural engineering, landscape architecture, construction services, cost estimating, and sustainable design.

As a leader in the implementation of Planetree principles, SLAM recognizes that there is not one approach that fits all institutions. The need for dialogue between the architectural team and the institution’s leadership during the design process is essential. Applying Planetree principles begins with the recognition that architectural planning can impact organizational and behavior changes.

SLAM strives to engage the stakeholders in the design process, stressing the importance of the physical environment in healing as a means of further developing the institution’s mission.

For information on how you can be part of the Visionary Design Network, or for educational opportunities, please contact:

Planetree Director of Business and Product Development