Key Member Profile – Thai Dinh

Thai Dinh, AIA, ACHA
Principal – Mascari Warner Dinh ArchitectsSan Diego, CA 

How has ACHA certification enhanced your career in healthcare architecture and/or design?
Architects in the US practice healthcare architecture by learning from experience over the years. Typically, we gain clients and projects based on our past experience and/or our relationship with various clients. I believe having an ACHA certification gives us a higher, more distinguished level of credentials with existing clients as well as a differentiator when presenting to new clients and businesses. 

Personally, ACHA certification is a testament for one who pursues healthcare architecture. This certification gives rise above many others through various years of experience, recommendations, and rigorous testing to ensure one is competent when practicing healthcare architecture.

ACHA certification is also valuable to me for the cutting edge resources available through the organization that are vital to my success as a healthcare architect. Being an ACHA member provides me the knowledge and credibility necessary to serve the healthcare architecture industry to the fullest.

ACHA certification has enhanced my career in healthcare architecture by enabling communication and collaboration through the network of other ACHA certified members. As a group, we are more capable of raising the quality of design standards than we are as individuals.

What motivated you to pursue healthcare architecture and/or design as a career? What led you to becoming ACHA certified?
During my graduate and architectural studies at USC, I interned at Perkins and Will in Santa Monica, where they focused on healthcare projects only. I was fortunate to work on one of the largest healthcare projects at the time at UCLA Ronald Reagan Replacement Hospital. I learned so much during that short period of time on how to design a healing and wellness environment for patient, family and staff.

After graduating with a master’s degree at USC, I joined James Leary Architecture and Planning, now Mascari Warner Dinh Architects, which specializes in health care architecture in San Diego. I have been involved in various types of health care projects which allowed me to learn all aspects of patient care, family support, staff work environment and hospital operation over all. 

From imaging equipment replacements and cancer centers, to hospital expansions, each project is a rewarding experience with the knowledge that my work and effort will create a better healing environment for the community. As I walked through hospital departments and saw different types of patients and what they have gone through motivated me to create better spaces and wellness environments for them and their families. Meeting and seeing how clinical staff spend tireless effort to help patients gives me a reason to do a better job of ensuring that the environment in which they work will maximize their comfort and provide the best care outcome for the patients. Personally, there is no more rewarding aspect in life when designing spaces for human beings in a healthcare facility, than seeing patients have an a healing environment to be treated and recover in. These are the reasons I pursued healthcare architecture.

About Thai Dinh

Education:  Master of Architecture, University of Southern California (2001)
BA in Architecture, University of California Berkely 1998.

Experience includes leading projects within Scripps Memorial Hospital, El Centro Regional Medical Center, University of California, San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center, University of Southern California, and many more.

Thai is experienced in all phases of the design and construction processes, with a core emphasis in programming, space planning, clinical and financial model analysis for various major healthcare providers throughout Southern California. Thai’s project expertise includes working with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies, including OSHPD, CDPH, TJC, City and County; successfully directing projects through ADA compliance processes. While not busy with complex master plans, Thai finds some time to fine-tune his golf game with clients and friends.