Polytrauma and Integration:
A Continuum of Care for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education

ARCH 572 | Spring 2013
Associate Professor William Worn
Practice Critics:
Mr. Percy Roberts, AIA, President, COO, VOA Associates
Mr. David Kuffner, Principal, OWP/P Cannon Design


Summary and Intent
The polytrauma (PT) patient has sustained multiple life-threatening injuries and disability at the same time requiring specialized intensive rehabilitation and coordination of medical care. Injuries are sustained during active duty service as the result of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosions and blasts. A specialized system of care has been designed by the Veterans Administration to treat and care for individuals with PT called the “Polytrauma System of Care.” The intent of this design studio is to design a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Hospital (approximately 85,000 SF) for returning veterans in higher education on the campus of Carle Hospital. The hospital will become the entry point for wounded veterans into the University of Illinois Continuum of Care for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education. This system, the first of its kind, will provide continuous care for wounded veterans who will transition from the hospital to the new UIUC Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education and eventually into independent living.

Students will become familiar with:
     - The specifics of hospital planning and organization
     - The relationship between student veterans and higher education
     - The differences between general hospital and rehabilitation hospital design and planning
     - The relationship between the designed environment and healing
     - The impact of design on the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
     - Essential resources to support veterans’ transition to higher education
     - The importance of community integration into the healing process

This course will address the questions:
     - How can the University and surrounding health care community support veterans with comprehensive and integrated services as they move from profound injury and disability toward independence, matriculation and graduation at the University of Illinois?

     - What are the required environmental elements necessary for this continuum of care?

     - How should these elements be designed to maximize healing, recovery and independence?