December 4, 2023


Healthy Always

Heather C. Beard Of DLR Group: Face Time

6 min read
Heather C. Beard

Picture credit score: DLR Group

The healthcare undertaking supervisor at DLR Group (Charlotte, N.C.) shares an early design lesson that she nonetheless talks about 15 years later, her love of Twenties trend, and the way her minor in journey and tourism turns out to be useful.

What drew you to a profession in healthcare design?

At a comparatively younger age, my grandmother had a mind aneurysm and stroke. This precipitated her high quality of life to be considerably lowered. She might nonetheless talk via facial expressions and grunts however was unable to talk. Once I was 14, my grandfather was unable to take care of her and he or she moved right into a nursing dwelling. I keep in mind going to go to her and the room she lived in was a double-occupancy room with hospital beds, a rest room, and off-white partitions. There was nothing about this area that was comforting or felt like a house. I saved considering to myself, there should be one thing higher. This has helped drive my ardour for creating areas that I might need my household or myself to obtain care in.

What was your first healthcare undertaking?

Scottsdale Medical Imaging Ltd., Mountain View MRI in Scottsdale, Ariz. I accomplished all of the drawings, coordinated with the consultants and distributors, chosen inside finishes, and attended each proprietor/architect/contractor assembly.

What design lesson from that undertaking do you continue to carry with you?

This was a fancy MRI undertaking with the magnet situated over a parking storage. I’ll always remember studying we would have liked a minimal 1/4-inch-thick metal plate the total size of the magnet suspended beneath the concrete slab. It taught me in regards to the complexities of radiology tools and the significance of coordination between all of the trades. Virtually 15 years later, I nonetheless discuss this undertaking with purchasers.

Three healthcare design tasks and your function

UNC Health

Picture credit score: Tim Buchman

1 UNC Well being Blue Ridge Valdese Most cancers Heart Addition & Renovation, Valdese, N.C., undertaking supervisor.

2 UNC Well being Terrace Café Enlargement, Chapel Hill, N.C., undertaking supervisor.

3 UNC Well being Blue Ridge Valdese Life Security Evaluation, Valdese, undertaking supervisor.


What do you want finest about working in healthcare design?

I’ve had the privilege of working in a number of rural amenities in Arizona and North Carolina. I really like with the ability to make an influence in these communities that don’t at all times have their voices heard. I’m additionally the luckiest woman on the planet to have a job that I really like and an incredible crew of colleagues to work with day by day.

What challenges about your work preserve you up at night time?

I feel our occupation remains to be in a technique of restoration from the recession. A major variety of my graduate faculty friends confronted challenges securing employment after graduating in 2008, which led some to pursue totally different profession paths. Moreover, there are noticeable gaps in age inside our sector, notably amongst people aged 45-60. This era holds invaluable expertise and information, however their presence for mentoring and steering shouldn’t be as prevalent because it could possibly be. Additional, satisfactory compensation is commonly a problem for these working so arduous on this business.

An surprising merchandise in your desk …

Take a number ticker

Picture credit score: Heather C. Beard

A take a quantity ticker. There’s a operating joke in our studio that I reply so many questions, on sure days you have to take a quantity.

Exterior the workplace, we’ll doubtless discover you …

Chasing my twin boys.

Canine or cat?

Canines, cats are evil. Our first “child” was a bichon poodle combine that we named Desoto. He was one of the best lap canine, who additionally beloved chasing squirrels and thought he was a lot bigger than a 20-pound canine. Sadly, we stated goodbye in March 2021.

Espresso or tea?

Kona espresso.

Morning individual or night time owl?

Morning individual. I’m essentially the most environment friendly within the morning, however don’t speak to me. I’m an introvert, I want time to get up.

Style development you assume ought to make a comeback

1920s flapper dress

Picture credit score: Heather C. Beard

Twenties flapper clothes. When my mother-in-law turned 60, she had a a long time celebration. Everybody got here dressed as their favourite decade. I really like the minimalistic form of the clothes and the intricate beading to raise the model.

How did you make your first greenback? 

In center faculty I had a summer season job at my mother’s work, Surplus Gross sales of Nebraska. I spent the summer season photocopying novice radio manuals, sorting vacuum tubes, and labeling shelving within the warehouse.  I realized about work ethic and the not so glamorous jobs on the planet, which have formed me into the architect I’ve turn out to be. After rummaging via all of the digital elements, I by no means discovered the flux capacitor.

First album you ever purchased

*NSYNC’s self-titled album.

Cocktail of selection

Aviation. It’s a traditional, scrumptious, and fairly!

Your hidden expertise

Journey planning. I’ve a minor in journey and tourism and like to plan our holidays. As a detail-oriented individual, I’ve a spreadsheet itinerary for each main journey my husband and I’ve taken over the previous 10 years.

If you happen to weren’t an architect you’d be…

Both a journey planner or something healthcare adjoining. I’ve at all times been desirous about healthcare, however don’t essentially have the abdomen for medical faculty.

Favourite quote

“Do the issues that curiosity you and do them with all of your coronary heart. Don’t be involved about whether or not individuals are watching you or criticizing you. The probabilities are that they aren’t paying any consideration to you. It’s your consideration to your self that’s so stultifying. However it’s a must to disregard your self as utterly as potential. If you happen to fail the primary time then you definitely’ll simply should strive more durable the second time. In any case, there’s no actual cause why you need to fail. Simply cease fascinated with your self.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve at all times been in my very own head considering others are going to criticize my each transfer. This can be a reminder that they aren’t and whenever you do stuff you care about, it would translate, and nice issues will occur.

Favourite film character That is actually powerful. A few of my favourite films are “Beetlejuice,” “Jerry Maguire,” and “Romeo + Juliet.”

Favourite present to binge watch “Pals,” for thus many causes. My husband and I bought the total sequence DVD field set and watched each episode collectively in faculty. I nonetheless cry each time I watch, “The One with the Proposal,” and “The Final One.”

Heather C. Beard

Picture credit score: Heather C. Beard

Favourite weekend exercise Doing completely nothing! We’re so busy in the course of the week I simply wish to loosen up and spend time with my children.


Favourite band/musical artist Muse. I feel my husband and I’ve seen them six instances in live performance.

Favourite responsible pleasure McDonald’s double cheeseburger. Generally you simply want that ooey gooey plastic cheese.

Favourite snack whenever you journey Chex Combine.

Favourite sport Baseball.

Favourite crew Arizona State (my alma mater) and the Boston Pink Sox.

Favourite ebook “The Nice Gatsby.”

Favourite metropolis to go to Napa Valley. My husband and I went to Napa final yr for our annual child-free trip, it had been over 10 years since our final go to. The primary vineyard we visited was Cuvaison. We sat in a lovely fashionable area surrounded by vineyards. It was so lovely and quiet, my husband stated, “That is precisely what I wanted proper now.” We’re going again in April, and I can’t wait.

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