B+H and Columbia China Explore the Future of Healthcare at Joint Symposium

A gathering of leading healthcare experts, designers and industry innovators uncovers the trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the healthcare industry today, and what they mean for tomorrow

March 28, 2019

Award-winning international architecture, interior design, planning, landscape design, and strategic consulting firm B+H collaborated with Columbia China, one of the largest investors and operators of general and specialty hospitals, senior living facilities and clinics across China, to host a joint symposium focused on the future of healthcare in China.

Entitled CONVERGENCE: The Future of Healthcare, the exclusive one-day event convened over 60 leaders from high-level industry leaders, operators, developers and partners for a thought-proving deep dive into China’s healthcare context. As healthcare designers, developers and operators grapple with the rapid pace of change and technological innovation reshaping the industry, this rare opportunity for a meeting of today’s leading minds was both timely and relevant. The symposium was moderated by Susanna Swee, B+H Managing Principal Shanghai and the guests were welcomed by Karen Cvornyek, B+H President, Asia.

From left to right: Susanna Swee (B+H), Stephanie Costelloe (B+H), Bee Lan Tan (Columbia China), Karen Cvornyek (B+H), Bruce Knapp (B+H), Chris McQuillan (B+H), Eric Zhang (Vanke)

Bee Lan Tan, President and Group CEO of Columbia China drew from her 20+ years of healthcare managerial experience in the first keynote presentation which focused on the benefits of collaborating with international design firm like B+H to create world-class healthcare facilities in China. Citing recent projects completed in partnership with B+H, Bee Lan shared her successes and key lessons learned along the way in growing Columbia’s footprint in the region and charting the path for its future.

Chris McQuillan, B+H Principal, Director of Healthcare, North America, Middle East and North Africa then followed with a presentation on the transformation of the healthcare ecosystem through Data-Smart Design. Chris shared lessons learned from the convergence of other sectors into B+H’s healthcare practice to reshape the patient experience, reflecting on his 25 years of expertise which includes extensive contributions to healthcare design, behavioural health and biomedical research, facility design, programming, and project feasibility analysis.

Bee Lan Tan

Chris McQuillan

Board Member of the Health and Homecare Society of British Columbia, Bruce Knapp, B+H Principal, Healthcare Director,China shared his insights on how to build a healthy and adaptable eldercare ecosystem in China. Bruce recently relocated to B+H’s Shanghai studio from Vancouver, bringing with him extensive experience in the design and leadership of a wide range of complex healthcare and senior care facilities across regions within Canada and Asia.

Delivering the final keynote presentation of the day, Zhang Tianye, Senior Officer, Shanghai Municipal Healthcare Commission, spoke on the Shanghai Municipal Government’s plans to build a first-class healthcare city by driving overall quality improvement in the healthcare sector. Plans include the development of more public and private hospitals and the diversification of services and facilities, such as research hospitals, community medical centers and more family physician services.

“Columbia’s partnership with B+H created a necessary forum to discuss the trends and challenges influencing healthcare delivery in China today,” said Bee Lan Tan. “It’s only when we can understand where we’ve come from that we can plan for where we’re headed. These are important conversations that should be happening more often.”

It’s only when we can understand where we’ve come from that we can plan for where we’re headed.

The keynote presentations were followed by a panel discussion with some of the event presenters and Eric Zhang, a special guest from Vanke, moderated by Stephanie Costelloe, Director of Healthcare, Asia, and Hong Kong Studio Managing Principal, B+H. Here the group continued the conversations on the future of healthcare in China by sharing insights on topics such as: innovation, technology and the digital hospital of the future; the particulars of the Chinese context and how they have influenced healthcare design and operations; and the key priorities in converting an existing building into a future healthcare facility.

Reflecting on the day’s presentations and discussions, Karen Cvornyek, B+H President, Asia, said, “The healthcare sector in China is ripe with opportunity for transformation, innovation and global leadership. China’s rapid growth well-positions it to be a pioneer of new tools, technologies, processes, and practices, and our healthcare work in China is now informing our projects globally. We’re so grateful to Columbia China for their strategic partnership and continued support for our work.”