I/we had the opportunity to follow up with Jessica Green, PhD (@JessicaLeeGreen) today after I met her at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation headquarters last year (Thanks @RWJF network!) (see: Shadowing (the people of the) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneer Portfolio | Ted Eytan, MD) today at the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) and talk more about the intersections of buildings and health, a favorite topic of late 🙂 .
Jessica’s recent editorial appears in the sidebar here and this cute / informative graphic of the microme-biology of an apartment building speaks of the impacts in our every day lives : Meet the Neighbors You’ll Never See – Issue 10: Mergers & Acquisitions – Nautilus.
Both of us share the passion for diversity, monocultures (of people or bacteria) are not as interesting to people who support total health.
Jessica described to us how the advent of air conditioning has changed building – from long thin structures, to big wide structures, that allow less natural ventilation and light into the center and therefore less supportive of healthier, more diverse microbiomes. It was great to connect what Jessica said to an example I use in Kaiser Permanente’s history, the 1953 “Dream Hospital” whose patient rooms all faced outward – in a long, thin building. Our newest hospitals still incorporate a biophilicity in their design, when hospitals are necessary, because we also believe in not building buildings at all if health can be produced wherever people are.
Look at slides 11-12 in this presentation to see images of these hospitals, the future in the past and the future today: