In 2019, my grandmother spent considerable time in the hospital as a result of complications from a routine surgery. She was admitted to the same hospital that my maternal grandmother had passed away in when I was 12. I had not been back to the hospital since that time. However, when I walked through the main entrance I had a weird sense of déjà vu. The place looked almost exactly the same. I felt like I had travelled 30 years back in time, only things looked more dated and aged.
It was actually the same hospital that I was born in, but I don’t remember much of what it looked like back then (probably pretty close to the same though if I had to guess!).
Seeing my other grandmother recovering in a room that looked eerily similar to the same room where I said goodbye to my mother’s mom 30 year earlier hit me really hard. Having been in more modern hospitals, I have seen the state of the art healing environments that many people have in their communities. Visiting this smaller, more rural hospital was a stark reminder that many people are still being treated in buildings that were cutting-edge 40 or more years ago.
Although I felt pretty good about the progress we have made since visiting that elementary school in 2002, this visit reminded me that we still had a long way to go and reinforced in me the importance of addressing deferred capital renewal and maintenance as a way to help the world.
Patients deserve the best environment for healing and recovering. Students deserve to attend schools where the buildings support and promote learning . Everyone that spends any time inside a building deserves a safe and healthy environment.
For me personally, my personal mission is to do whatever I can to help make this a reality for everyone!
If you are reading this blog, I am going to assume that you too share my, and our passion, for improving the built environment. I would love to the origin story of your “Why” in the comments.