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As an architecture student and summer intern, one of Adela Nagati’s first projects was to measure every space in the hospital building to prepare drawings of a client’s current conditions. Walking around the building and seeing staff and patients interacting in different places opened her eyes to how the physical environment affects physical and emotional health and well-being and left such an impression that she decided to enroll in graduate school at Texas A&M University Health Center Systems and Design, specializing in healthcare design and planning. After graduating in 2014 and working in several companies, she joined Hamad Medical Corporation In 2019, she most recently headed the company’s studies on COVID-19 and cancer research. Out of the office she remains occupied with a variety of hobbies, from hiking and cooking to new skills in playing the piano and skiing.
What is your first healthcare design project?
The first major healthcare project in the United States was the UCS Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles.
What is the design lesson from this project that you still carry with you today?
The quality of spaces for clinical workers is just as important as the quality of spaces for patients and families. When employees feel comfortable and have easy access to the things they need, patients and families will benefit.
Three healthcare projects I’ve worked on last year and your turn
1 Design for Empathy: A Survey of How Healthcare Environments Affect a Cancer Patient’s Journey,
2 Kaiser Permanente, Sunset Ambulatory Surgery Center, Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, Healthcare Planning and Design.
3 Kona Community Hospital, 10-Year Master Plan, Kona, Hawaii, Healthcare Planning and Design.
What do you like most about working in healthcare design?
Make a positive difference in the lives of people who are going through tough times.
What are the challenges related to your work that keep you awake at night?
The physical and emotional health and safety of healthcare workers, especially amid this pandemic.
On healthcare design trends
Excellent: Indoor and outdoor communication. Amidst this latest pandemic, it is important to focus and explore in different settings.
Boo: The inability to have operable windows or outside balconies in patient care areas. Safety and security are major obstacles to this trend, however, these features provide not only access to daylight and views, but also physical access to the outdoors and fresh air.
Out of the office, we’ll probably find you …
Hiking at Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley, California. Enjoy ocean, bay, bridges and city views.
What new hobby did you gain during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Playing the Piano and Skateboarding. I always wanted to add music to my life but never had a chance until an epidemic. I tried skating once many years ago and I didn’t like it at all, but my friend encouraged me to try it again. This season, I managed to skate in a blue-black race for the first time!
Coffee or tea?
coffee. I love the smell of it!
Someone morning or night owl?
Morning person. I usually wake up at 6 am, have my coffee and do the piano for an hour. This prepares me for the whole day.
How did you make your first dollar?
I started teaching mathematics to students when I was 16 and editing mathematics books at the age of 18. I majored in math in high school and was really good at it.
Going to your karaoke song?
John Legend “It’s all about me.”
The first album you ever bought?
Celine Dion, “Live à Paris”.
Cocktail of your choice?
Your hidden talent?
Sewing, mainly making adjustments to the fabric.
You have an irrational fear of …
necrophobia. I cannot tour the mortuary department while walking around the hospital building.
quote “A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend” and “a wise enemy raises you up, and a foolish friend rejects you.” Both are Persian proverbs.
Movie character My role from the movie Finding Dory. I love her positive spirit and perseverance despite my short term amnesia problem.
Ensemble / Music Artist Elton John.
The pleasure of guilt Cakes, especially chocolates from a local bakery.
Application / website Spotify.
Food to cook Frittata is vegetarian.
the book “The Pocket Quote Book by Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Infamous and Wise Quotes from the RBG.”
Cultural traditions Nowruz Haft was seen. It is an arrangement of seven symbolic elements whose names begin with letters in the Persian alphabet. It is traditionally displayed in Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is celebrated on the first day of spring.
A place to travel The Therme Vals in Vals, Switzerland, designed by Peter Zumthor.
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