Alan Ricks

Partners in Health

Grant Awarded: $35,000

Founded by Dr. Paul Farmer in 1987, Partners in Health works in 12 countries to provide a full range of medical services, including basic maternal health, adult and pediatric care, and treatment for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB.

In developing countries, the construction of health care facilities is often done without architects or planners, leading to the incubation of the very illness that the clinic is trying to mitigate. MASS Design Group, which designs, builds and advocates for buildings that improve health and help strengthen communities, teamed with Partners in Health to put together an informational program, called “Empowering Architecture.” The Butaro Hospital in rural Rwanda was used as a case study to discuss a typical process of design considerations and community involvement as well as basic architectural strategies for reducing the transmission of airborne disease. MASS Design Group developed a website, casebook, field guide and poster to empower those building clinics and hospitals in areas of extremely scarce resources.