Tammy Felker, AIA, ACHA, RN, LEEDAP BD+CNBBJ ArchitectsSenior Associate, Healthcare Planner/ArchitectSeattle, WA
How has ACHA certification enhanced your career in healthcare architecture and/or design?
Being certified has connected me with a community of experienced professionals across the country. The opportunities to learn from peer experts and share insights are incredibly valuable for the industry and to advance the profession of healthcare design. By participating in ACHA committees, I have had the opportunity to set the standard for the practice of healthcare architecture, ensuring those who have the ACHA credential have the knowledge required to serve our clients.
What would you say to anyone interested in the field?
If you want to dedicate your career to really making a difference in people’s lives, healthcare architecture is for you. Few other professional careers offer the opportunity to have a tangible effect on the outcomes of people at the most profound points in their lives. This is especially true in behavioral health design. A comment from a patient at a recently completed project stated that “this feels like a place where I can get help and get better.”
What led you to becoming ACHA certified?My very first job in healthcare architecture was at NBBJ with John Pangrazio and Jim Brinkley, two of the first ACHA certificants. Their knowledge, experience and expertise inspired me to follow in their steps and become certified. It is an honor to be part of a group of leaders in the industry who make a difference in people’s lives.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you personally or your practice?
My entire family is in the healthcare industry, including a physician, nurse practitioner, speech-language pathologist, dentist and firefighter/EMT. Every day they put their health and well-being on the line for us so it is personal for me. I work to make our healthcare environments safer for staff and patients by helping them make modifications to the physical environment, workflows and processes. We are in a fluid situation so flexibility and creative problem solving are essential.
Emory & Henry College, Bachelor of Science | University of Virginia BSN, University of Washington Master of Architecture
I enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest and the Salish Sea with my husband and two dogs on our sailboat SIRIUS.
Recently, I successfully completed the planning and hosting of the AIA Seattle Architecture for Health Conference — a leading annual healthcare conference in the Pacific Northwest. Although it was held virtually this year due to the pandemic, we expanded programming from one full day to two half days, which allowed us to feature local and global speakers from around the world — from Oregon to Rwanda.