The HCD 10: Jeri Brittin, Researcher – JP
Jeri Brittin, PhD, director, social and behavioral sciences, HDR (Boise, Idaho)
With a background in interior design and mathematics as well as doctoral training in health promotion and disease prevention research, Jeri Brittin leads a transdisciplinary team of social and behavioral scientists at HDR.
Their work informs planning and design decision-making to promote desirable behavioral and health-related outcomes among populations of people in buildings, organizations, and communities.
Within the healthcare sector specifically, Brittin supports healthcare design research with a high degree of scientific integrity that asks clear questions, presents methodologies and findings transparently, uses appropriate analysis, produces actionable insights, and provides a credible foundation for further work in the field.
For example, her team developed the HDR CARE (Clinical Affordance Related to the Environment) Scale, which identifies connections between design factors and behavior, in this case operationalized as the degree of ease or difficulty of performing daily caregiving tasks in the inpatient environment.
Her recent projects include a community-wide study for the Mat-Su Health Foundation in Alaska to understand local variations in health status and social needs, and to gain input for a new community health campus planned to address multiple social determinants of health.
Brittin also recently led a mixed-method post-occupancy evaluation at the Sheltering Arms Institute, a destination rehabilitation facility in Richmond, Va., to assess how the environment provides support for a community of patients with spinal cord and brain injury and the professionals who work with them.
Beyond healthcare, Brittin serves the greater public health, too, through projects such as a large study to guide strategic planning for a major park in New York City. Her team has also developed the Planning and Analysis of Transportation and Health (PATHS) Framework for integration of public health and transportation expertise in a viable model of connections between transportation interventions, effects on health determinants, and more distal effects on population health outcomes.
She continues to share her thinking and work with the industry at large through publications and frequent presentations, and through service on committees focused on design and health.
Click here for more on all the 2023 HCD 10 winners.