Uplifting Design & Healthcare

There are dark days for everyone. Patients undergoing long-term treatments may have the darkest of them all. Fear of the unknown, losing the ability to live and work as you please, worry for your family and friends, and the ultimate fear of all, loss of life. This is a reality. These are the dark anxieties that plague our patients. We, as designers, architects and healthcare administrators, can help alleviate these anxieties through uplifting design.

Uplifting Design

Uplifting design brightens, cheers and unburdens many of the harsh realities that patients, their families and the healthcare providers face every day. Through design, we can provide the optimum environment for the sick to receive the upmost care.

What makes an uplifting design? The VA project team members and the design team at the Sacramento VA Medical Center asked themselves that same question when tasked with a 4th floor renovation. What they came up with is truly inspired.

A New Standard of Care

The Sacramento VA Medical Center saw the remodel as an opportunity to design a new standard of care. They hoped to create a home-like environment that was more welcoming to patients and their families. They wanted to improve the layout of each room and the workflow of the staff to alleviate their stress and provide them with more time to give attention to patients.

In order to accomplish these goals and to make their vision of a new standard of care come to life, the VA project team called together an expert design team – Hilliard Architects Inc. and Wikoff Design Studio. Together, the VA project team and the design team built test models that will be revealed at the end of next month to patients, administration and staff. The models will act as a trial run, testing the new standards of care.

Scope of Work

The Sacramento VA Medical Center has outstanding customer reviews. Their culture of listening, caring and honoring patients comes through in the new design. The scope of work for the remodel includes:

Family Area

Encourages patients to get out of bed, walk and spend time with family. This great room is equipped with a living room, dining room and full kitchen. Families can gather in the homey environment to enjoy a meal, watch the big game or have a cup of coffee together.

Family Conference Room

A private place for nurses, doctors and family members to sit and talk.

Patient Room

A large, comfortable space with fabrics and materials that are warm and inviting. Hospital equipment is hidden in the bed frame and lighting is soft and adjustable. There is a general seating area to accommodate family and friends.

Staff Lounge

Floor to ceiling glass and a spectacular view, this break area gives caregivers an opportunity to relax and recoup.

Decentralized Nurse Station

Allows caregivers more time to spend with their patients by providing a workstation and access to medications near the patients’ rooms.


The models implemented by the VA design team will be revealed at the end of next month. The Sacramento VA Medical Center is excited to unveil their new standard of care and continue their patient-centered culture showcased in the uplifting designs.


  1. Hilliard Architects https://hilliardarchitects.com/about/
  2. Wikoff Design Studio http://wikoffdesignstudio.com/