AIA Design for Health Session | Tuesday, May 3, 2022 (6-7 p.m. EST) Credits: 1 AIA/HSW


This educational session will provide an overview of the history (past), current direction and challenges (present) related to creating safety and security. Additionally, this session will share principles and examples for visioning the future of behavioral health design. Speakers Erin Sharp-Newton of Posen Architects and Kimberly McMurray of BHFC Design Consultants have extensive experience in this market segment and have developed a presentation to educate attendees on this relevant topic, including the COVID pandemic and how architecture and design address behavioral health needs within our communities.

Participants in this session will discover:

  1. THE STORY: A Brief Architectural History of Psychiatric and Mental Health Institutions.
  2. PRESENT: Current data regarding mental health information, facts and figures.
  3. SAFETY + SECURITY: Guidelines for creating a safe environment for patient and staff by integrating safety into the design process.
  4. PRINCIPLES + VISION: Create design principles for therapeutic environments and understand the changes on the horizon that impact the built environment for behavioral and mental health settings.

SPEAKER: Erin Sharp-Newton, M. Arch, Fitwel
Healthcare Design Director | Behavioral Health Leader | POSEN Architects Erin Sharp-Newton is Director of Healthcare Design at Posen Architects and a UDMH Fellow. Erin brings years of proven local, national and international design experience to the design world with a particular passion for the impact of the environment on mental health. His unique experience and advocacy contribute to a sharp, intense and humanistic approach to architecture, design and culture.

Supporting the Global Solutions Foundation, Erin also serves the Department of Health and Human Services as Chair of the Local Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee, serves the AIA NJ Equity In Architecture Committee, is the AIA NJ Women in Architecture CNJ Liaison, a trustee for the AIA CNJ, served as Vice Chair of the Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program Board and a member of the Morristown Mayor’s Wellness Committee. She has received accolades throughout her career such as the NJ Biz 50 Best Women in Business Award and recognition from Charter High School of Architecture and Design. Erin holds a Masters in Architecture from UCLA and a Masters in Design from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. She was creative director at Cibic Workshop in Milan, was active in major architecture/design schools such as Domus Academy, Milan Polytecnico and Venice Polytecnico, Sci-Arc, UCLA, Woodbury, the Art Institute, Drexel , Moore College of Art, Cornell University and others. She is a regular contributor to

Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC | Kimberly McMurray, principal of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC, a 100% women-owned company, is a behavioral health design expert, is a practicing health care planner and architect with over 35 years of experience. healthcare leadership experience in academic, non-profit, and private medical campus architecture. McMurray has a decade of experience from an owner’s perspective and working with multidisciplinary user groups, embracing a unique perspective and response to customer needs; apply knowledge of clinical operations, evidence-based design, lean operational planning; to lead projects from programming, concept development to design.

Kimberly is a Registered Architect, National Council Architectural Registration Boards, has her evidence-based design certification from the Center for Health Design. She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

MODERATOR: Elizabeth Sullivan, AIA Associate, LEED GA, EDAC Healthcare Practice Leader | NK Architects

Elizabeth Sullivan is the Healthcare Practice Leader at NK Architects in New York City, headquartered in Morristown NJ. Elizabeth has extensive experience in management and medical planning. As a healthcare planner, she specializes in medical planning, small and large scale facilities and complex multi-phase projects. She manages and coordinates with management, balancing key stakeholder and user requirements with applicable codes and guidelines to achieve design solutions that meet programmatic needs and result in cohesive planning concepts.

Additionally, Elizabeth worked as both a project manager and later as a facilities and real estate planning manager for Montefiore Health System in New York City. She has unique in-house experience as a client and understands the entire project process from the owner’s perspective. Elizabeth is AIA Co-Chair for the Design for Health Committee of the Center for Architecture in New York and was Associate Director at Perkins Eastman. Elizabeth holds an M.A. and B.A. in Architecture from Tulane University. She is the Evidence-Based Design Accreditation (EDAC) certification from the Center for Health Design.


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