Episode 276

Transforming Healthcare's Built Environment with Sharon Woodworth

Published on: 20th May, 2024

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This episode’s Community Champion Sponsor is Ossur. To learn more about their ‘Responsible for Tomorrow’ Sustainability Campaign, and how you can get involved: CLICK HERE


How can innovative architectural design improve patient care and clinician wellbeing? Our next guest, Sharon Woodworth, Healthcare Sector Leader at HED, is leading the charge to create healthcare facilities that optimize efficiency and sustainability. 

With extensive experience and over 11 million square feet of healthcare facility design, Sharon brings a unique perspective from her background as a former clinician. Deeply concerned about post-COVID staff shortages, she's driven to design environments that alleviate burnout and attract top talent. 

While together, Sharon shares HED's pioneering vision to augment caregivers through responsive, human-centered design solutions. 

Join us as we explore how HED is reshaping the future of care delivery, from outpatient clinics to smart hospitals. Let’s go!

Episode Highlights:

  • Sharon stresses the importance of clinicians putting on their "oxygen mask" first before caring for others to avoid burnout
  • HED specializes in taking existing healthcare facilities and redesigning them for future flexibility to adapt to changes like pandemics
  • Outpatient facilities are being redesigned without traditional waiting rooms, using concierge greeters to improve the patient experience
  • Data from IoT sensors will increasingly drive architectural design decisions based on actual usage patterns
  • Post-occupancy evaluations are critical to get feedback from clinicians and patients on what's working well or needs improvement in a new facility

About our Guest: 

Sharon is the Healthcare Sector Leader of HED, a national integrated architecture and engineering firm with 400+ employees and elite clients such as USC, the VA Medical Center, and the U.S. State Department. Her sector specializes in designing innovative healthcare centers for efficient patient care. 

Sharon is a licensed architect with 11M+ square feet of healthcare facility planning and design. She is known for driving change in operations and care through architectural design — much needed now, with operating costs rising by 10% in healthcare due to inflation and labor.

She saw healthcare systems firsthand as a former clinician, with her experience spanning a global range of operational and continuum-of-care issues from neonatology to senior living. She is concerned about the post-COVID staff shortages causing delayed care and closed centers.

In 2017, the AIA elevated Sharon to the College of Fellows for outstanding influence in the field of design. In addition to practicing architecture full-time, she is an Assistant Professor at UCSF, teaching “Leadership in Healthcare Environments” to future healthcare CEOs.

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Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli
Healthcare and Innovation
Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli, a nationally ranked healthcare and innovation podcast, and a member of the Health Podcast Network, highlights the innovators, the game changers, and the pioneers who are deeply passionate and relentless in valiantly solving the problems our healthcare industry is facing.
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Mike Biselli

Community Builder | Health-tech Entrepreneur | Podcaster | TEDx Speaker | Dedicated to Reimagining Healthcare