11 September, 2013

A Supportive Environment-My Visit to St. Jude's

By Lisa Peck, ASID
This July I received a generous gift in the form of an invitation from Brizo to attend the Blogger 19 reunion in Memphis. Why Memphis? Brizo happens to have a manufacturing facility nearby and they support St. Jude’s Hospital whose main campus is in Memphis. To me the true gift of this trip was our tour of St. Jude’s.
In my work, I am continually intrigued with how our environment supports us. The evidence of how an environment can be carefully designed to support people, even in their most stressful times was evident throughout St. Jude’s. The hospital is designed to be a positive, upbeat place and it is. Prepared for my heart to be crushed as I experienced St. Jude’s, instead I left feeling as positive and happy as ever. From the time we walked through the door the vibrant colors, attention to the needs of patients and families and staff attitudes all reflected the spirit of hope and the positive support of healing that St. Jude’s represents.


Here are just some of the highlights that stood out to me.

  • All desks and counters are a height that are comfortable to children..no barriers between them and their caregivers.
  • There are chapels for all faiths.
  • The research facilities are in the same building as the treatment center creating no separation between the international research teams and the kids they are impacting.
  • The cafeteria is a common meeting area for kids, families, caregivers and researchers. One big happy family, eating together creating a close community.
  • They limit beds at the actual hospital and provide family living environments as much as possible to lessen the alienation that kids can feel as patients.
  • There is lots of room for self-expression that is a needed part of the healing process and really just being a human.


A little hometown pride and a big shout-out to Target for sponsoring the Target homes where families of kids who are being treated can live in small apartments and have a normal family life while treatment is continuing. These homes also include community rooms that are amazing...each sponsored by a different celebrity. Every year Brizo supports the St. Jude’s Dream Home giveaway. I truly admire how Brizo gives back to their community.