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AHC Fall 2023 - Designing for All: Accessibility in Health and Wellness

This year’s AIA AHC Fall Event includes one day of interdisciplinary presentations, design case studies, discussions, and building tours focusing on inclusive and accessible design in the healthcare environment.

AHC Fall 2023 – Designing for All: Accessibility in Health and Wellness will explore how design solutions and the design process can improve accessibility and inclusion for as many users as possible within the healthcare setting. Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, will be delivering the keynote speech.  Karen is the founder and managing principal of Studio Pacifica. Her professional focus and advocacy efforts – as an architect and a wheelchair user –  center on accessibility and inclusion issues.  There will also be design presentations for the Washington School for the Deaf and Washington State School for the Blind which will both be opening new facilities.  In addition, there will be presentations on inclusive playground design from PLACE Landscape Architecture and from Clackamas Volunteers In Medicine which operates a free clinic in a new location in Oregon City whose mission is to serve the health needs of uninsured, low-income people in Clackamas County by providing free and inclusive medical care through dedicated medical and community volunteers.

The conference will conclude the day by touring the Elks Children Eye Clinic (ECEC) which is the newest building that is part of the Casey Eye Institute.  ECEC is a Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus at OHSU Casey Eye Institute. They help protect, improve and restore the vision of tens of thousands of children and adults.  The ECEC is a new 60,000 square foot building that houses new childhood vision screening and treatment programs, space for clinical trials in macular degeneration and other eye diseases, and a Gene Therapy Center.

COVID Safety/Accessibility: AIA Seattle strongly encourages masking to demonstrate community care. Our venue is fully accessible, with zero-step entry and an onsite accessible restroom. Please note in your registration if you would like to be contacted about specific accommodations to fully participate in the program, including but not limited to sign language interpretation.

This program is presented by AIA Seattle’s Architecture for Health Committee. Please contact Anthony Collins with any questions or concerns.


Friday, October 20, 2023
8:30am – 3:30pm | Conference – The Porter Portland, Curio Collection by Hilton

4:00pm – 5:00pm | Tour – Elks Children Eye Clinic, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University

Click here for schedule

*All sessions and speakers are subject to change.


Includes continuing education credit (6 LU/ HSW) + light breakfast, lunch, and refreshments.

$150.00 AIA Member/Corporate Allied Partner (CAP)/Allied Member
$150.00 Government
$100.00 AIA Associate Member
$200.00 Non-Member
$60.00 Student/Emeritus

Want to learn more about the reduced ticket rate and other benefits associated with membership? Visit our membership pages to learn more about the benefits of joining AIA Seattle.

Registration for this program has closed.



Keynote Speaker: Karen L. Braitmayer FAIA, Principal, Studio Pacifica | Architect Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, is the founding principal of Studio Pacifica, an accessibility consulting firm based in Seattle, Washington. In addition to her firm’s consulting work with nationally known architects and corporate clients, her “good fight” has consistently focused on supporting equity and full inclusion for persons with disabilities. As a registered architect, Braitmayer was admitted to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2004. Her professional expertise and personal experience also led to her appointment by President Barack Obama to the United States Access Board, and she served in that position until July 2023. In 2019, she was chosen as the national winner of the AIA Whitney M. Young, Jr. award—a prestigious award given to an architect who “embodies social responsibility and actively addresses a relevant issue”. In the award’s 48-year history, she was the first recipient honored for their work in civil rights for persons with disabilities.


Charlie Brucker PLA, ASLA, LEEDAP, Principal, PLACE | As a passionate landscape architect, Charlie Brucker’s designs distinguish the studio’s portfolio of award-winning projects. Internationally recognized for visionary planning and design, PLACE with Charlie’s leadership embraces stewardship of the natural world, advances bold ideas, and creates memorable experiences through timeless craft. During his 30-year professional career, Charlie has engaged communities of diverse stakeholders, creating human-centered inclusive and evidence-based design with users, infrastructure, and natural systems, as contributors to the local community. To propel physical, mental, and spiritual wellness, he integrates green placemaking techniques with natural systems generating resilient solutions for intimate and large-scale public realm environments. A frequent speaker at professional conferences and an academic guest lecturer, Charlie strives to increase public awareness of inclusive play and nature infused healing environments to reduce anxiety and stress while supporting the positive and nurturing exploration of play and social interactions. A partner of 1% for PLANET, PLACE has been recognized for design excellence by the American Society of Landscape Architects, World Landscape Architecture 2021 ASLA Landmark Award, and an inaugural Architecture MasterPrize Landscape & Urban Design Firm of the Year.


Dr. Tim Cook, President, Clackamas Community College | Dr. Tim Cook has more than 30+ years of experience working in higher education as an advisor, counselor, faculty member and administrator. A native of Oregon City, he joined Clackamas Community College as its President in 2018. A first-generation college student, President Cook understands how community colleges provide economic mobility for students and the communities where they live. He has a lifelong passion of helping college students achieve their dreams and works each day to remove barriers so students can be successful. He has a proven record of developing partnerships with business and education that lead to mutually beneficial outcomes. Before joining Clackamas Community College, President Cook served as the vice president of instruction at Clark College, a comprehensive community college serving 21,000 students annually across three campuses in Southwest Washington. President Cook earned a doctorate in community college leadership from Oregon State University. He holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Lewis & Clark College and a bachelor’s degree in English from Western Oregon University.


Kim Olson AIA, Principal, Mahlum | Reflecting on her own experiences in the built environment, Kim has a passion for design that enriches the living, learning, and healing environments for all.  She takes pride in listening to the needs of all constituents through the design process and her work is rooted in the belief that buildings can support stronger communities when they explore and celebrate the rich diversity of the human condition. Joining Mahlum in 2013, where she is currently a Principal, Kim brings over 20 years of experience in the field of architecture.  Committed to serving the profession, she has served on various boards and committees for the American Institute of Architects and is currently the chair of AIAO’s Legislative Affairs Committee.



Martha L. Spiers LCSW, Executive Director, Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine | Martha Spiers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who retired in 2017 from a 30-year career in behavioral health crisis services systems management and development. In 2012 she developed and implemented a successful, trauma-informed and low-barrier crisis walk-in clinic for Clackamas County, centering the experience and expertise of people experiencing psychotic disorders.  Martha failed at retirement and became the Executive Director for Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine in 2018. Following her passion for access to healthcare she has been inspired by the synchronistic partnership with Clackamas Community College to bring primary care services to under-resourced patients, and culturally responsive training to new healthcare professionals. Martha received her BA from Dartmouth College (Hanover NH) and her Masters in Social Work from Simmons College (Boston MA). She lives in Oregon City with her wife and daughter.


JoAnn Hindmarsh Wilcox, AIA LEEDAP, Partner, Mithun | JoAnn excels in empathetic listening and agile problem-solving, crafting innovative educational solutions that influence national K-12 and higher education design. Collaborating closely with students and educators, she co-creates spaces that amplify curriculum, maximize resources, foster community belonging, strengthen student agency and uplift learning outcomes. Through robust community engagement, JoAnn’s approach creates equitable, high-performance learning environments rooted in social justice and sustainable well-being. She has received over 60 design awards, including the 2019 AIA Institute Award of Honor, and a national AIA Young Architect Award for her leadership and contributions. She serves as Co-Chair of the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education K-12 Sub-Committee, contributing to pandemic-response guides and reports on school design, and engages with civic issues through volunteering, mentoring, and lectures on regional and national levels.

*All speakers are subject to changes.


Alex Almerico, Senior Associate, Interior Designer, NBBJ | With the foundation of her career rooted in hospitality design, Alex consistently pushes to destigmatize healthcare spaces, using design to replace fear with hope and healing. Her ability to design with empathy, commitment to healthy materials and passion for staff and patient centered care drive her design ethos. Alex’s most recent work for the OHSU Casey Eye Institute utilized an evidence-based approach to “see” the new clinic through the eyes of their patients and craft design guidelines to their specific needs. Alex, was the lead interior designer and was also integral to the medical planning of the Elk’s Children’s Eye Clinic.

2023 Fall Conference Agenda_FINAL 09.27.23

Carl Tully, AIA, LEEDAP, Principal, NBBJ | Carl Tully is an NBBJ principal and project manager with over 30 years of experience, as an architect with NBBJ. He leads complex healthcare projects, from urban high-rise developments to community hospitals. Carl thrives on teamwork and avidly develops collaborative relationships to bring out the best from the collective team, resulting in meaningful and positive project outcomes. He has also received training in facilitative mediation and conflict resolution, which complements his management and team leadership skills while guiding diverse groups through the design process. Beginning in August 2015, Carl has served as chairman of the Standing Advisory Committee for Swedish Hospital’s First Hill campus, an appointed volunteer position for the City of Seattle. He is also active in his community, and regularly volunteers with Recovery Café, which supports people who have experienced trauma and the results of trauma such as homelessness, addiction, and other mental health challenges. Carl was the PIC, Project Manager and AoR, for the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic.


Brian Uyesugi, Principal, Designer, NBBJ | As a lead designer in NBBJ’s Seattle office, Brian creates thoughtful and uplifting environments that are a true reflection of their unique circumstance. Uniting clarity, purpose and a strong sense of place, his design philosophy stems from a clear understanding of contextual, cultural and programmatic issues—a process that serves as a catalyst for creative architectural invention. Leading institutions—Oregon Health and Sciences University, Loma Linda University, Swedish Medical Center, Neighborcare Health, and others—look to him to challenge the status quo and develop projects that comfort, heal and delight. Brian approaches every project with a passion to derive meaning and understanding from the built environment and is particularly excited by the challenges of aesthetically blending new and existing buildings. His work, such as the Meridian Center for Health, has garnered multiple awards, receiving an AIA Healthcare Design Award, Modern Healthcare’s “Most Environmentally-Friendly” award and an IIDA Northern Pacific Chapter award. Brian was the lead designer and led the Type III design review with the Portland Design commission for the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic.

*Tour presenters subject to change


  • Participants will learn tools to address inclusivity, accessibility, and diverse abilities during the design process to inform design solutions and better meet the needs of all users in healthcare settings.
  • Participants will be introduced to the process that engages Deaf and hard of hearing building users in design and will learn the touchpoints between Deaf experiences and the built environment.
  • Participants will learn tools and design strategies to better address the needs of visually impaired building users.
  • Using playgrounds as a case study, participants will be introduced to design strategies and features that are universally accessible, adaptable, and inclusive.
  • Participants will be introduced to and become familiar with project case studies that have been successfully designed to address accessibility and diverse abilities.


AssuredPartners Design Professionals | EBD Services | P2S, Inc. | Sellen Construction | Stantec |
Aldrich + Associates | Coughlin Porter Lundeen | GLY Construction | Lease Crutcher Lewis
PCS Structural Solutions | Säzän Group, Inc. | Andersen Construction Company of Washington |
BNBuilders |  Wood Harbinger


Join the Architecture for Health Committee!

The Architecture for Health Committee (AHC) is a Pacific Northwest committee of individuals who are interested in healthcare architecture and the effort to improve the quality of planning, operation, design and construction of health care facilities. The diverse membership brings together architects and related disciplines interested in the development and practice of design excellence three times per year for a day of sessions and tours.

AHC Board Co-Chairs:
Josh Kolberg AIA
Molly Wolf AIA

Check out AIA Seattle’s other Profession and Member Committees to participate in programs, events, and forward-thinking conversations.

Program, Registration, or Credit Questions?
Contact AIA Seattle Senior Coordinator of Member Engagement  Anthony Collins.

Sponsorship Questions?
Contact AIA Seattle Executive Director Melissa Neher.


October 20, 2023
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Event Price
$60 - $200
Class Credit
6 LU , HSW


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938


The Porter Portland, Curio Collection by Hilton
1355 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, WA 97201 United States
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