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Sky Factory eNews - Spring 2018
Making the Grade: 2017 Planetree Scholars

On October 18th 2017, Plane­tree International, the global leader in advancing per­son-centered care announced the 2017 Class of Planetree Scholars, during the organiza­tion's annual Conference, held at the Marriott Waterfront …

  TAMC Dialysis Center: Interview with Richard Borrelli

“We had the opportunity to do a dialysis facility for The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Maine,” says Richard B. Borrelli, Principal and Healthcare Studio Director at WBRC Architects Engineers. “TAMC's …

  Featured Application: Wound Care

A division of Kentucky Trailer and a leading design & manufacturer of custom trail­ers and specialty vehicles, Advanced Mobility now offers Sky Factory's Luminous Sky­Ceilings in its mobile medical imaging trailers. The …

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Spring 2018 Tradeshow Schedule

Tradeshow Location Dates Event Center Booth
Chicago Dental Society Chicago, IL Feb. 22 - 24 McCormick Place West 4530
PDC Summit Nashville, TN Mar. 25 - 28 Music City Center 855
Becker's Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting Chicago, IL Apr. 11 - 14 Hyatt Regency Chicago TBD
ESTRO Barcelona, Spain April 20 - 24 Centro de Convenciones Intl Barcelona 7800
American Association of Orthodontists Washington, D.C. May 5 - 8 Walter E. Washington Convention Center 1454
California Dental Association Anaheim, CA May 17 - 19 Anaheim Convention Center 2231
AIA Conference New York City, NY Jun. 21 - 22 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 4821

Making the Grade
2017 Planetree Scholar—Bill Witherspoon

On October 18th, Planetree International, the global leader in advancing person-centered care announced the 2017 Class of Planetree Scholars, during the organization's annual Conference, held at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, MD.

Bill Witherspoon, founder and Chief Designer at The Sky Factory, earned a Planetree Scholar Award and joined the 2017 Class for his contributions advancing the importance of biophilic design principles in healthcare design. The company's published work on the restorative impact of perceived open space through the use of illusions of nature has received multiple awards for enhancing the patient experience.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 - Planetree Scholars

“By recognizing the untapped healing attributes of biophilic illusions, he's given healthcare professionals a valuable design tool to restore a multisensory connection to nature, so often lost in clinical environments,” added Lisa Donnarumma, Chief Creative Officer of Planetree.

Published research on Sky Factory's Open Sky Compositions have been the subject of several awards. Professional research organizations like the International Academy for Design & Health and the Environmental Design Research Association, have recognized the peer-reviewed fMRI study by Texas Tech University that found Sky Factory's photographic sky compositions not only share the same activations found in standard, positive images of nature, but also uniquely activate areas of the brain involved in spatial cognition and depth perception.

“We're honored to be included in 2017's class of Planetree Scholars,” said Bill Witherspoon. “Planetree is an admirable and humane organization devoted to improve the lives and experience of people in the most vulnerable condition—when illness or disease strike—and we applaud their efforts to see the whole healthcare ecosystem from the patient's viewpoint. We're glad to contribute our grain of sand and applaud those who also put theirs for the benefit of patients and their families,” added Witherspoon.

Class of 2017 Planetree Scholars

The valedictorian for this year's class of Planetree Scholars was Gina Maurer, the Patient Centered Care Coordinator at the Northport Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Northport, NY. Planetree's Scholar Award, formerly called as the Caregiver and Physician Award, honors individuals whose work has advanced person-centered care.

Each year's Planetree Scholar Award Winners are announced live at the Awards Dinner. The Winners are invited to join the Planetree Leadership on stage and flank the valedictorian as she delivers her acceptance speech on behalf of the year’s class.

Richard Borelli

TAMC County Dialysis Center Interview with Richard Borrelli, Principal, WBRC AE

“We had the opportunity to do a dialysis facility for The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Maine,” says Richard B. Borrelli, Principal and Healthcare Studio Director at WBRC Architects Engineers. “TAMC's County Dialysis Center was expanding, moving next door basically, due to rising demand.

“The new center was a complex fitout of a 9,500 sq. ft. leased space within a 1960s strip mall. When we had the opportunity to look at the space, we realized that we couldn't incorporate a skylight as the roof structure would not support the added framework. And since it wasn't the client's building, spending any amount of money to upgrade the building structurally made little sense.

The Aroostook Medical Center's County Dialysis Center in Maine

“However, we wanted a skylight-like feature in the middle of the treatment room because, like a lot of clinical spaces, it was located within a deep plan building where there's no access to daylight. These central, windowless spaces are the perfect area to incorporate a visual connection to nature. Sky Factory products are extremely useful in deep plan buildings where a perceived connection to nature is most welcome.

“In dialysis care, maintaining visual contact with patients is essential. Very often a change in skin tone indicates that there's something wrong with the treatment. And that's why these environments feature cubicles surrounding a central nurses' station. In our case, it was twelve stations.

Nine 4' X 4' Revelation SkyCeilings show an Open Sky Composition to enhance the patient experience

“Patients come to the facility three times a week for potentially three hours at a time to undergo dialysis. This had to be an environment that was pleasant to the eye, that tried to bring in daylight-quality light, and that offered an attractive focal point.

“As it turned out, we went out to bid on the project. The numbers came back and we were pretty close to where we needed to be, but we needed to reduce the cost of the project because there were some late additions equipment-wise and everybody started looking for ways to save money on the project.

“The good news was the owner's rep started out that effort by saying, ‘The Sky Factory fixtures will not be eliminated from the project.’ And that was nearly the first time in 30 years of practice that I've heard an owner jumping in front of the bulldozer on a certain element. Generally, everything is up to be cut. And that really made my day—it made the project, in fact. And I think the images of the project really prove that,” remarked Borrelli.

Featured Application:
Mobile Medical Imaging Advanced Mobility Reaches for the Sky

A division of Kentucky Trailer and a leading design/manufacturer of custom trailers and specialty vehicles, Advanced Mobility now offers Sky Factory's Luminous SkyCeilings in its mobile medical imaging trailers. The company showcased a custom model at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual conference in late November, 2017.

“Incorporating Sky Factory's Luminous SkyCeilings in our mobile medical imaging units adds a new dimension to our vehicles,” says Tom Biwan, Senior Director of Sales at Advanced Mobility. “The SkyCeiling enhances the patient experience by creating a therapeutic focal point with a perceived access to wide open blue sky.”

Nine 4' X 4' Revelation SkyCeilings show an Open Sky Composition to enhance the patient experience

Luminous SkyCeilings are the only research-verified virtual skylights in the market. Unlike standard, back-lit photography, Sky Factory’s Open Sky Compositions—the photographic component in the virtual skylight—are specifically captured and composed to create a perceived multisensory portal that triggers spatial cognition and depth perception.

“Our photography is designed to create a credible depth illusion,” says Skye Witherspoon, CEO of Sky Factory. “We put together different compositional elements—daylight-quality lighting, calibrated photography and printing techniques, and architectural reveals—that when put together create a very convincing perspective for the observer; in this case, the imaging patient. It alters their perception.

“The image's composition and luminosity literally dissipates whatever anxieties and reservations patients might hold about the session,” adds Witherspoon. “When you experience the unexpected, you forget where you’re at.”

Advanced Mobility Medical Imaging Vehicle at RSNA, Chicago.  November 2017. © Sky Factory

Advanced Mobility's medical imaging division has manufactured and refurbished hundreds of mobile units for all medical shared service providers. The company has strong relationships with all major O.E.M.s in imaging, including Philips, General Electric, Toshiba, and Siemens, which has been crucial in developing new markets.

Advanced Mobility has exported custom imaging vehicles as far as Israel, in the Middle East, and South Korea, in the Far East.

“We're committed to designing environmental features that make imaging sessions more comfortable for the patient and more efficient for the operator,” says Jeff Johnson, Sky Designer at the Sky Factory. “We understand that the smoother the session goes, the more sessions you can schedule, and this enables these vehicles to provide better service to the end user and become a valuable asset for busy clinics.”

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