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Symposium Explores Future-Proofing Healthcare Facilities for Economic and Climate Resilience

Some of the nation's leading healthcare industry experts gathered at the internationally renowned Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice to share insights and address the dual challenges in healthcare of economic uncertainty and climate change.

Recognizing that these interrelated challenges require proactive planning and strategic investments, the two-day event brought together leaders from esteemed health systems across the country and the US Virgin Islands along with experts in strategic and financial planning; climate adaptation, sustainability, and disaster risk reduction; and architectural design to explore proactive solutions.

The symposium commenced with an insightful, interactive discussion by Matt Cox and Jared Averbuch, both partners at Whitecap Health Advisors. They explored the current healthcare macro landscape, delving into challenges spanning labor, resource allocation for mission-based services, and inflationary pressures impacting borrowing rates and capital availability. The discussion extended to strategic opportunities for long-term financial sustainability, emphasizing consolidation, service distribution and prioritization, network development, and build/buy/partner considerations.

Following this, Patrick Marchman, Principal at KM Sustainability, spoke on the cumulatively increasing stresses and escalating hazards resulting from climate change today. Highlighting that our built infrastructure was designed for a world that has since drastically changed, his address emphasized specific actions health systems must take for climate adaptation to reduce the negative impacts of inevitable climate-intensified hazards, events, and systems. He also shared encouraging news on ample funding opportunities for climate resilience, backed by a widely agreed-upon average benefit-cost ratio of 4:1 for adaptation investments.

After the presentations, a panel of experts discussed the practicalities of solving resilience challenges in health systems. Their discussion encompassed reducing dependency on local utility systems, integrating incremental steps into long-range plans, creating a compelling business case for adaptation investments, and strategies for reducing embodied carbon.

Throughout the symposium, a recurring theme emerged – collaboration is essential. No single entity can tackle these grand challenges alone. Building relationships across the industry and with surrounding communities is vital to creating resilient healthcare environments that safeguard the continuity of healthcare services and protect public health and wellness into the future.

For a deeper dive into the experts' presentations and a glimpse of the symposium, click the links below.

View presentations >View photo gallery >

December 15, 2023

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