NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 9, 2019) – Layton Construction Vice President Whitney Walter teamed up with St. Luke’s Health System Vice President Sandee Gehrke as Co-Chairs at the 13th Annual Healthcare Design & Construction Symposium August 7-8, 2019, at Vanderbilt University. The annual event informs industry professionals about current trends and raises money to fund scholarships for the university’s engineering students.

This year, the theme for the conference was the Intersection of the Built Environment in Healthcare Delivery – a critical perspective championed by Walter and Gehrke.

“The symposium was a unique conversation about the partnerships, innovations and technology that not only improve the experience of patients and providers but actually transform the way we deliver care in our communities,” Walter said. Gehrke said that attendees partake in “a multi-disciplinary conversation about how design, engineering and construction can and do impact the delivery of healthcare. They also get first-hand experience with some of the unique partnerships and innovations we are seeing in the industry.”

Session topics included:

  • Built Environment – Automated Material Movement
  • Challenges with Delivering Healthcare Projects – Owner Perspectives
  • Disrupting from the Inside Out to Create Dynamic Human-Centered Operating Room Environments
  • Built Environment – Going Modular
  • Happy Doctors, Happy Nurses, Happy Patients – How will Design Affect the Future of Healthcare Delivery
  • Case Study: Branding through Architecture to Enhance Perception & Reality

The conference opened with a special address, Building for Health Beyond 2030, by Dr. Andrew Ibrahim, University of Michigan, Senior Principal and Chief Medical Officer, Healthcare at HOK.

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO Emeritus Cleveland Clinic, Ex. Advisor to Google Health, provided the keynote address. Cosgrove, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, spearheaded a re-organization of clinical services at the Cleveland Clinic into a patient-centered model of care designed around organs and diseases rather than doctors.

This is the first time the event has had an all-female co-chair team. “In my lifetime, I’ve been the first female to do a lot of things, but the funny thing is, is that I’ve never seen it as, ‘I’m the first female’ until it is brought to my attention,” Walter said. “I’m the type of person who decides what I’d like to accomplish, creates a plan and path of execution, works hard, and earns my position. I feel the same is true for Sandee.”

Gehrke added, “I’m honored to be serving in this role and participating in the fundraising endeavors to assist students with scholarships to further their education and solidify their futures.” The former southeast region event has become a national draw, thanks to efforts to attract thought leaders like Walter and Gehrke as speakers and participants.

As the nation’s fourth largest healthcare contractor in the U.S., Layton Construction knows a lot about the built environment in healthcare. “We are constantly innovating to enhance the patient and caregiver experience — before, during, and after construction,” Walter said. “We are fortunate to have forward-thinking clients who embrace new technolgies and systems that make healthcare more effective, accessible and affordable.”

About Layton Construction
Layton Construction Company is consistently ranked among the top commercial contractors in the nation, currently the 44th largest builder on ENR’s Top 400 Commercial Contractors list, with revenues of $1.8 billion annually. Layton specializes in construction management, design-build construction and general contracting. Layton’s construction projects are found throughout the United States, and cover a wide spectrum of industry sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, education, office buildings, manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, sports and entertainment and public safety. Headquartered in Utah, Layton also has regional offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, and Tennessee.