Laura Morris, CHID, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, Lean Green Belt, is Principal and Interior Design Director at Array Architects with 15 years’ experience as an interior designer and lead planner in healthcare facilities. Laura, who has been a board member of the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers (AAHID) for the past two years, has been appointed president of AAHID. With this new position comes new responsibilities of helping the organization grow to new heights.
By taking her experience of being on the board for two years, Laura is able to help the organization grow by focusing on what their current goals are. “A lot of our goals have changed in the last few years from sustaining our organization to now being in a growth period,” Morris said. “Helping to grow our industry partners and marketing efforts is really the big push.”
Laura is extremely devoted to her new position, putting in additional hours each week on top of her demanding position at Array. Her AAHID certification has helped Laura advance her career in many ways. Being able to meet with other healthcare experts in design and collaborating with them about similar challenges, and discussing how they were able to creatively solve problems is very helpful. Laura believes clients are noticing there is a difference working with someone who is an expert in healthcare as opposed to someone whose experience spans many industries (i.e., retail, residential,etc.). “I think on a senior level, your clients start to recognize your expertise and its importance,” said Morris.
The CHID appellation provides the client with a clear recognition of a design professional’s expertise and dedication. “It is considered the benchmark for healthcare interior design qualifications on many government and private sector Request for Qualifications,” states the AAHID on its website. Laura strongly encourages all interior designers to become certified because it helps promote the profession and the designer’s dedication to it.
To prepare for the exam, Laura followed the steps outlined on the AAHID Study Preparation website. A study guide and references are available alongside a practice test. The organization will soon provide webinars as an additional preparation method.
Once certified, AAHID asks designers to renew their affiliation and validate that the required 10 CEUs have been met every two years.
When asked what her favorite type of healthcare building is to design, Laura responded with Greenfield Hospitals because of the stamina required to see the project through. “I think they are the most challenging and they have all aspects of design in them from hospitality to office to corporate and then the really technical and clinical spaces. I find they are the most fun and challenging and the most time intensive,” said Morris.