2014/15 Spencer De Mille Knowledge Fund Winner: Gloria Cornell

Knowledge Fund 2014/2015 Part 1: Danat al Emarat

Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Day: Monday

Date Posted: 03/07/15

Our first day in Abu Dhabi, we had a delicious $3.00 Indian breakfast and then headed off to the Danat al Emarat. It was my first experience taking a taxi to the end of a city to a place I had never been and never seen, and to meet with people I had never met or actually spoken with in person.

When we first arrived at the construction site we were welcomed into the offices and set in a waiting room that looked like a conference room with some medical equipment samples in it. The temporary building had quite a hustle and bustle about it, and we soon realized that the Danat al Emarat was in full swing of hiring its future staff. There were nurses and admin and many others moving in and out of the building along with construction managers, architects, and engineers.

Our first meeting was with Ayman Mahmoud, the project resident engineer from ECG. He very courteously took us through the entire hospital and grounds, explaining the layout of each floor. Although incomplete, the entire facility was pleasant to be in. And everyone working there was so friendly!


The Lobby


Our Gear in the Temporary Building


Ayman and I

Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Day: Sunday

Date Posted: 01/27/15

Here we are – the second leg in. This journey included a nearly 20 hour flight through Atlanta and into Dubai. Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? YES! My cousin, Dawn, joined me on this trip to enjoy the experience and help me document my studies. We spent a day in Dubai completely overwhelmed with the scale of everything. After seeing the third largest yacht in the world and the famous Burj al Arab, we then headed to Abu Dhabi in a taxi.


The dates in Dubai are to die for!



Knowledge Fund 2014/2015 Part 2: San Diego – Some People I Met

Location: San Diego

Day: Sunday

Date Posted: 01/16/15

Here are some photos from the NICU mock up. Thanks to all the great people at the Patient-Centered Institute for Design who put this together! It was hard to capture the entire unit, but it was a nice representation of the research and design that has been developing over the last few years in the functionality and layout of a NICU patient room.

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Knowledge Fund 2014/2015: San Diego – Check out my Article in Healthcare Design Magazine!

I have the privilege of writing an article for each of my trips (3 total). Here’s the link to my first article: http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/blogs/anonymous/integration-nicus-hospitals?page=2 

Knowledge Fund 2014/2015: San Diego – Some People I Met

Location: San Diego

Day: ALL

Date Posted: 01/16/15

I met some amazing people in San Diego! The first group of people I met at the patient-centered design reception on Saturday night. On the left: Linda Price-Bennett, a designer based out of Ottawa, Canada. On the right: Martin Neumann, director of business development at View. At this moment I can’t remember the name of the lady in the middle, but she was great!

Here I am with Judy Roudebush who is with the Nursing Institute of Healthcare Design (NIHD) and supports research in many area. Love her!


This is a man I met with Draeger. He has studied and traveled for NICU research, so we had a fun time chatting!

I even met one of leaders of healthcare in my company – Bruce Knapp!

And, some familiar faces including…Allison Reed at CR Associates!


Knowledge Fund 2014/2015 Part 3: Integration of NICUs into Hospitals

Location: San Diego

Day: 1

Date Posted: 12/14/14

Hello, my name is Gloria Cornell and I am the recipient of the first semi-annual IIDA NPC Spencer de Mille Traveling Fellowship. I finally made my first of three trips – to the Healthcare Design Conference in San Diego, CA.

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to IIDA for this opportunity. I am not even halfway through and it has already been a life changing experience.

My first day in San Diego, I took some time to visit an old friend and see the Salk Institute for the first time. The Salk Institute is one of those places that anyone who studied architecture or interior design has learned about and (in my case) has wanted to see in person since History of Architecture 101. Although it is not directly related my project’s subject matter, I am glad I went.

After arriving in San Diego, I rented a basic, bottom of the line car and was pleasantly surprised to step into a vehicle with fresh leather seats and one of those keyless push start buttons. You know the ones. It was a smooth ride and went 0-60 in far too little time. As my friend and I approached the Salk Institute we saw the lovely shore and some hang gliders speckling the sky just off to the side. I warned my friend that the buildings may not be as great as they look in photos. I didn’t want her first architectural experience with me to be a disappointment.

As we walked onto the campus, we realized the institute is just as breathtaking in person today as it is in photos from its younger years. The Salk Institute even embraces, dare I say, much of what healthcare design is about today. Light, beauty, and thoughtfulness are undeniable in its execution. We enjoyed the monumental nature of the facility while watching a sunny ocean view from the courtyard. This excerpt from the institute’s website is a great summary of the driving forces of Louis Kahn’s masterpiece: “The Salk Institute was established in the 1960s by Jonas Salk, M.D., the developer of the polio vaccine. His goal was to establish an institute that would explore questions about the basic principles of life. He wanted to make it possible for biologists and others to work together in a collaborative environment that would encourage them to consider the wider implications of their discoveries for the future of humanity.”

Here are some photos from my visit. If you click them you can see a larger, clearer version.

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