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From Regulation to Practice: Transforming Behavioral Health Care through Design and Advocacy

April 19, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT

$10.00 – $35


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As the demand for mental health care services across the nation continues to surge, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to recognize the significant role that our built environment plays in providing safe, equitable, and effective care for behavioral health patients. To deliver the best possible care, we must bring together diverse voices to uncover the various layers involved in meeting patients’ needs. Unfortunately, the siloed approach of regulatory bodies has made it challenging to confidently design, operate, and maintain facilities that can meet the growing demand for equitable behavioral health services. To address this challenge, the AIA Pasadena Foothills chapter started a conversation between regulatory bodies, health providers, and the community, fostering strategic collaborations that significantly impact the quality of Behavioral Healthcare in California. This advocacy group has already influenced positive outcomes, including collaborating with OSHPD and CDPH to create the Acute Psychiatric Hospital Advisory Guide for the State of California. Furthermore, it has spurred collaboration between community outreach programs and health providers, ensuring that regulations align with and respond to each community’s diverse needs. Through an engaging discussion with a diverse panel of experts, attendees can learn about the multifaceted nature of the environment’s role in behavioral health care. They’ll also have an opportunity to join the advocacy group and fight for change, with the ultimate potential to form a national advocacy group for critical causes, including behavioral health. Join us in this fight for equitable and effective care for all patients.


Anosha Zanjani, Behavioral Health Design Specialist, HDR Inc.

Anosha Zanjani is a behavioral health architectural designer who has had a focused career in behavioral health. She has worked in psychiatric facilities, academic institutions, research, and private practice prior to architecture. After many years in the field of mental health, she noticed and became interested in the significant impact that spaces had on patients. This interest turned into a passion to build better spaces that would positively impact the treatment and recovery of individuals facing mental health issues. Anosha is currently with HDR’s Behavioral Health Studio and has worked on a range of behavioral health projects nationally and internationally. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health from the University of Toronto and a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia University.


Ferial Asadies, Health Principal, HDR Inc.

With 20 years of experience in design, programming, and project management for healthcare facilities, Ferial has focused her design philosophy on creating healing spaces that engage and inspire patients, and stakeholders. Her work and reputation illustrate passion, and a commitment to the clients with whom she partners, rooted in deep project involvement from inception to completion. As a Principal for the HDR’s Los Angeles health studio, Ferial nurtures new client relationships, spearheads project delivery efforts and seeks opportunities to address resiliency and equity in healthcare. She is the co-founder of the AIA Academy of Architecture in Health Pasadena Foothill Chapter.

Alison Birnie, Clinical Director, Huntington Hospital

Alison Birnie is a leader with over 35 years of experience. Currently she is the Clinical Director for multiple service lines at Huntington Hospital. Among her responsibilities is primary oversight for all clinical operations for the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient behavioral health units, including the maternal mental wellness program. This program provides support services for women who have depression or anxiety in the postpartum period. She has a varied resume which includes, clinical risk management, quality, performance improvement and patient safety. Additionally, she worked as a critical care, hospice, home health and transport nurse. Alison has a Masters in Healthcare Administration and is currently enrolled in a DNP program at University of San Diego.

Diana Navarro, Supervisor, Health Facilities Review, HCAI

Diana Navarro is a California licensed architect with 27 years of highly technical healthcare experience in the public and private sectors with demonstrated experience in leading multi-disciplinary teams. As a Supervisor of Health Facilities Review for the California Department of Health Care Access and Information, she is committed to promoting safe, quality workplace and healthcare environments that foster high levels of performance and collaboration.

Richard Tannahill, Supervisor, Building Standards Unit, HCAI

Richard Tannahill is the Supervisor of the Building Standards Unit (BSU) with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. He has over 30 years of architectural experience, of which over 25 years is in healthcare specializing in project management, building code, and construction administration. He has worked on several Behavioral Health Hospitals both with OSHPD and prior. Richard is a past board member of the Hospital Building Safety Board and remains active as OSHPD staff. He has been with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development since April 2015 and is currently working on 2022 code revisions.

Karen Burns, HIT Strategy Executive, IMEG Corp

Karen Burns is a healthcare information technology consultant with over 23 years experience in healthcare. Karen has a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Karen works for IMEG Corp where she uses her knowledge of healthcare to provide strategic information technology planning advisory services for hospitals and health systems nationally, helping new facilities ensure the technology is designed with the future in mind.


Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1

Identify the challenges associated with designing, operating, and maintaining facilities that meet the growing demand for equitable behavioral health services, and identify strategies for addressing these challenges.

Learning Objective 2

Explore the Acute Psychiatric Hospital Advisory Guide for the State of California, examining its content and potential impact on improving the quality of behavioral healthcare facilities

Learning Objective 3

Investigate the benefits of collaborative approaches to designing, operating, and maintaining behavioral healthcare facilities, including the involvement of diverse voices such as regulatory bodies, health providers, and the community

Learning Objective 4

Describe the opportunities associated with forming a national advocacy group for behavioral health, and discuss ways in which attendees can contribute to this effort.



April 19, 2023
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
$10.00 – $35
Event Category:


AIA|LA Architecture in Healthcare Committee


350 S Grand Ave Suite 29
Los Angeles, CA 90071
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