Certificant Profile – Katheryn (Katie) B. Fricke

Katheryn (Katie) B. Fricke
Principal, Health Planning I Professional Associate
Charlotte, NC

How has ACHA certification enhanced your career in healthcare architecture and/or design?
Healthcare architecture is complex and board certification illustrates my commitment to the rigors of continuous education in the field and helping to establish the best practices in our industry.

What would you say to anyone interested in the field?
Healthcare architecture is one of the most rewarding specialties because it is so connected to outcomes.  Creating environments that support positive patient and staff experiences and that actually function for the delivery of care — that is my “why.”

What led you to becoming ACHA certified?
Orrin Arvold, my first boss and mentor, gave me a copy of the FGI Guidelines after my last summer internship and inspired me to pursue healthcare architecture.  Jim Atkinson, my boss and mentor of 5 years, really highlighted the importance of ACHA at HDR and set the bar for certification as an example for every Health Planner at our firm.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you personally or your practice?
I’m engaged internally on three different committees to understand and articulate near term and longer term planning implications from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Externally, I’m consulting with clients regularly to review current and future planning in the same context. This remarkable challenge has changed our industry and our approach as architects and human beings to problem solving will never be the same!

About You

Education: Clemson University, Master of Architecture + Health

After realizing that I actually preferred the added codes and constraints that healthcare architecture piles on, I have only ever practiced in this field, now for 20 years.  I lug my trusted FGI code book around with me like the healthcare nerd I am.  I’m also a wife, and mother to two middle schoolers.  I enjoy DIY woodworking projects, and I seek out the best Brussels sprouts everywhere I travel.

Last fall, I spoke with two other HDR female health principals (and fellow ACHA members) at the national AIA Women’s Leadership Summit in Minneapolis about leadership skills and the importance of mentorship in our industry.  That presentation has taken a life of its own and we’ve been able to use it as a launching pad to continue the dialogue both internally and externally.