Academic journal article Human Ecology

A Bright Future: New Institute Links Hospitality, Design, and Health Administration to Improve Patient Care

Academic journal article Human Ecology

A Bright Future: New Institute Links Hospitality, Design, and Health Administration to Improve Patient Care

Article excerpt

To address challenges of modern health care, the College of Human Ecology and the School of Hotel Administration have launched the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures. Billed as the first such academic center in the country, IHF combines hospitality, environmental design, and health policy and management into a broad-based platform to improve service in health care, wellness, and senior living through industry partnerships.

"What has never been done before is the integration of these disciplines to promote a holistic view of health care," says executive director Rohit Verma, who teaches service operations management at the School of Hotel Administration. "The institute will focus not only on clinical care, but will pay close attention to the patient experience, the well-being of the family, and the long-term emotional needs of patients and their loved ones, all carefully informed by a design perspective. That's what makes us unique."

At a Nov. 2 kickoff event, IHF will host panel discussions with speakers from industry and academia on research needs related to health care, hospitality, and design. In April 2016, IHF plans to host an inaugural roundtable on core issues shared by hospitality and health care.

"The institute's approach is more than interdisciplinary," says associate director Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, professor of design and environmental analysis. "It's transdisciplinary, in the sense that it's generating a whole new field, rather than having different disciplines work in parallel. We hope this venture will broaden perspectives regarding the future of health, and enhance the quality of people's lives. …

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