CommunityCare: An Outpatient Autoimmune Clinic
Bautz, Alexander William
MetadataShow full item record
A diagnosis of a chronic illness, and specifically an Autoimmune disease, tends to marginalize and isolate what is a growing global affected population. After diagnosis, patients are typically sent to specialized clinics and become a part of specialized support groups, while trying to integrate their lives with the parameters of their condition. Rather than continue with a specialized, fragmented approach to treatment and management, what if these illnesses that have so much in common could be brought together? If a clinic was to integrate medical, educational, and social interaction of the linked diseases, the healing environment could be much more successful. The CommunityCare Clinic would focus on creating opportunities for spontaneous interaction of the visitors. Whether a patient, parent, or part-time nutritionist, the various roles represented within the community each bring unique and valuable information to the collective knowledge of the network. The program balances the medical needs of a clinic (exam rooms, physician offices, treatment spaces, pharmacy) with educational spaces (partition-able classrooms, group therapy areas) and social gathering spaces (cafe, lounges, garden terraces). This blend of functions promotes a communication between inhabitants, as well as between the building and the surrounding community. Through this interplay of activity, the mental barrier of autoimmune illness, as well as that of medical clinics in general, can begin to erode and create a less stressful environment for patients, staff, family, and community members. This healthy environment could promote less staff turnover, foster greater medical advancements, educate the public of a growing issue, and most of all, empower the often marginalized affected population.
- Architecture