Design prof’s new book to aid development of childrens’ ICUs

Mardelle Shepley

Mardelle Shepley

A new book aiding clinicians tasked with planning new pediatric and neonatal intensive care environments, authored by Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, director of Texas A&M’s [Center for Health Systems and Design] ( , is receiving favorable reviews.

"Planning for a new pediatric or neonatal ICU is daunting for most clinicians,” said Bob White, director of the Regional Newborn Program at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind. “Few have prior experience, and the skills needed are far different from those they use on a regular basis,” Shepley’s book, “ [Design for Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care] ( ,” he said, "fills this void in remarkable fashion."

The book, also aimed at researchers investigating these environments, includes essays from prominent voices in the field, ranging from inspired young architects and researchers to world-renowned healthcare design and research icons. It also features illustrations of work identified as exemplary or representative of new design approaches, which will help those planning new or remodeled projects to identify and examine precedents.

In the book, “form and function, as well as operational issues that might impact design are considered by experts from every relevant discipline, with an international perspective,” said White.

Shepley provides an analysis of the literature associated with the development and research of pediatric and neonatal ICUs, a summary of the historical development of critical care for infants and children, and information regarding the role of these facilities in the critical care system.

A professor of architecture who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1993, Shepley is a member of the [American College of Healthcare Architects] ( ’ Council of Fellows. She specializes in architectural design, social architecture, health care facility design, applied research and environmental psychology.

Holder of the William Peña Endowed Professorship in Information Management at Texas A&M, she is also a member of the [American Institute of Architects] ( ’ College of Fellows, an honor reserved for registered architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society.

In 2010, Shepley was named among the 25 most [influential people] ( in healthcare design by Healthcare Design magazine’s editorial board and staff and the publishing staff at the Center for Health Design. The list, according to the magazine, is a “who's who” of the health care design industry including architects, interior designers, academics and researchers.

Her 2010 book “ [Health Facility Evaluation for Designing Practitioners] ( ,” hailed as a definitive resource for evaluating health facilities, provides information to help design professionals better understand, plan, conduct and share pre- and post-occupancy evaluations of health facilities.

" [Design for Critical Care: An Evidence-Based Approach] ( ," which she wrote in 2009 with Kirk Hamilton, professor of architecture at Texas A&M, makes a connection between research evidence and design practice and presents a holistic approach that outlines the future for successful design for critical care settings. Hamilton is also an ACHA fellow.

Her professional experience has included positions with The Design Partnership and Tai Associates in San Francisco, the Ministry of Planning in the Republic of Panama, and the Department of City Planning in New York City.

posted May 15, 2014