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Dear Friend,

I recently heard a story about a healthcare practitioner who called her friend for help with an urgent problem in her business.

At the end of the call, the woman thanked her friend for helping her solve the problem. To this her friend replied, “When you rise, I rise.”

The woman was surprised to hear this and asked her friend to explain what he meant.

He shared, “When we give or receive help, we all benefit. We all rise.”

That got me thinking.

I hear from so many healthcare and healing practitioners; some are just starting out and some have been in practice for many years. They don’t know where to begin to create a patient-centered space.

I get it.

There are simply too many things to think about aside from the design of the space and it can be overwhelming.

Today I’m writing this letter for you.

So where DO you begin when thinking about a new design for your healthcare space?

Here’s my advice.

Take these three simple steps first:

#1 – Own your change. Take responsibility for exactly what’s in front of you right now.

Accept that we’re all messy sometimes and love it anyway. Love yourself anyway. You are doing the best you can.

This is an important piece in acceptance.

And with acceptance comes the ability to move forward one step at a time.

Reach out if you need help. Ask someone on your team or your BFF to help. Remember the quote, “When you rise, I rise.”

#2 – Flick that feeling of overwhelm off the table by breaking down what you can do in small steps to create an improved waiting room, exam or treatment room or office space.

For example, dedicate an hour of time each week to clearing your clutter in a single space. Give it away, recycle it or trash it. Just do it.

And please send your dead plants to plant heaven. They can really drag a space down.

By clearing clutter, you release old energy and allow space for something new and positive to take its place.

#3 – Change your lighting. I’m not kidding when I tell my clients that this single design improvement can have the biggest impact in the space.

When you turn your single overhead fluorescent lighting off and replace that light with a few floor lamps and table lamps throughout the space, the whole vibe of your waiting room or office can go from “Oh no, I want to run away” to “Awww, I want to linger and feel this goodness.” 

The brain responds to light instantaneously.

Your floor and table lamps, wall sconces and decorative overhead lighting creates shadows and mimics the cycles of natural light throughout the day and speaks to our circadian rhythms.

Here’s an example of a windowless staff room design concept I created to highlight how lighting plays a role in a space:


Notice a single chandelier over the table, wall sconces strategically positioned to highlight each area below and a task lamp in the more private section of the room with the chairs and ottomans.

Layered lighting is like layering clothing in the winter — one layer is not enough. In cold weather, we feel the best with several layers, a scarf and maybe even a hat. This same concept applies to artificial lighting — the more layers, the cozier we feel.

Want some homework?

Try at least one of the above three design tips and let me know what progress you make.

And remember, when you rise, I rise.


P.S. Please share this post with anyone you think may benefit. Hope and optimism are such an integral part of a successful practice and we need more of that in the world.