The Exposome: Going From Ideals to Implementation of Health Equity

Resilience is an equity issue and is directly linked to the resources (social, physical, and economic) one has available to cope with environmental stressors. A lack of resources leads to adverse health outcomes. Promoting health equity is a tough challenge for health systems especially in terms spatializing the rights of users by helping people see themselves in spaces while providing choices and a sense of empowerment.

At this year’s Healthcare Design Expo Conference + Expo (HCD Conference), our team presented  The Exposome: Going from Ideals to Implementation of Health Equity. The term exposome encompasses environmental issues, such as pollution and toxins, as well as social determinants of health and is location specific. We shared published research that led to the development of a resiliency framework for understanding the exposome of a community and project site and targeting resilience and health equity at multiple scales.

“As designers, we ask ourselves some questions at the beginning of every project,” says Greg Coni, who presented along with colleagues Tiffany Broyles Yost and Angela Mazzi. “What makes a community healthy or sick? How are resilience, sustainability, and equity related? How can built environments provide a wellness intervention?” Design can help build resources for resilience by creating safe, supportive, and accessible environments; by neutralizing adverse climate events; and by making welcoming spaces for diverse populations of all ages. GBBN’s presentation took attendees through the exposome framework and how design can help build better health equity.

You can see the presentation here.

Read the article in Healthcare Design Magazine here.

Read about our 2023 Health Equity Symposium here.

See our healthcare work here.

Tiffany Broyles Yost AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel Amb., is an associate principal and director of sustainability & resilience at GBBN. Tiffany provides strategic leadership for sustainable design across the firm’s portfolio of projects, manages the research of the firm’s Sustainability Action Network, oversees our Sustainability Action Plan, and spearheads related educational initiatives. Her work includes sustainable design on projects at all scales from international tower mixed-use buildings to single story existing building renovations. Tiffany serves on several non-profit boards and committees including the Greenbuild Summit Advisory Board, the Fitwel Advisory Council, the Louisville Sustainability Council, and the Green Umbrella/Cincinnati 2030 District Health Strategy Committee.

Greg Coni, AIA, CPHC, is an associate at GBBN. A Certified Passive House Consultant, Greg is passionate about sustainable, resilient design. He loves tackling the complexity of healthcare projects to ensure all the pieces fit efficiently together inside high-performing exteriors. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh, volunteers as a Student Mentor with the ACE Mentor Program, Western Pennsylvania .and is involved with multiple committees for AIA Pittsburgh.

Angela Mazzi FAIA, FACHA, EDAC is a principal at GBBN. Harnessing studies on human psychology, research on our biological need for nature, a focus on clinical workspaces, and experience with Lean strategies, Angela creates exceptional environments that empower patients and practitioners. She regularly presents and publishes her research in industry and peer reviewed journals and is sought out by Healthcare Design Magazine, the New York Times, and other publications to share her healthcare expertise with their readers.