David Woods

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I have been raised in a Christian household by two parents, for whom I am eternally grateful, and it is my goal to honor my God, my family, and my fellow person in all my pursuits whether academic or otherwise. I am in my final year of undergraduate study in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech. I was raised in the Appalachian mountains of rural northern Georgia, and the genesis of my affinity for design can be traced to my childhood experiences building barns, chicken coops, beehives, and furniture with my father. My passion is the provision of healthcare and other essential services for the underprivileged, and I aspire to play a role in the design & construction of hospitals in developing countries. In my spare time I enjoy linguistics, philosophy, and outdoor recreation. This summer I participated in the Italy / Greece program via the College of Architecture, and last summer I was a mentor to at-risk youth on a ranch in northwestern Wyoming. Diversity of experiences and derivation of personal edification through experiences have always been central to my philosophy of education. The collaborative nature of health systems is very attractive to me, and I am excited to see how our varied fields of study can work together.

8/21/12 Prior to reading the statistics shown in class, I had very little knowledge of the day-to-day operations and the various quantitative data related to the American healthcare system. Some of the numbers were rather staggering, such as the number of admittances to the ER at Grady and the percentage of Americans whose greatest economic concern is the cost of healthcare. Having been raised in a family that works for the state government and thus receives automatic health benefits, I’ve never really given the matter much thought. The cost of the treatment of heart disease relative to the number of cardiovascular practitioners was quite interesting, and I was forced to speculate why more doctors haven’t chosen to specialize in that field. The statistic that 1% of the population consumes 30% of the resources allocated to healthcare was positively mind-blowing to me; I suppose some of this can be accounted for by the treatment of chronically ill patients, but that number still persists, in my mind, as being incredibly high. Analysis of figures like this caused me to ponder how such patients can afford their treatment.

I’ve generally made an effort to avoid visits to the Emergency Room. However, at the age of 8, the stitches in my throat from a recent tonsillectomy ruptured and I began to lose a significant amount of blood. The experience was terrifying, and it was the only time in my life that I ever witnessed my father express fear. The staff at Hamilton Medical Center immediately admitted me to the ER and from what I recall everything went fine. I remember the staff being exceptionally personable and encouraging, and I will always remember ability of those people to make a bad situation better even before any surgery or medicine is introduced.

9/11/12 Having missed a number of class sessions due to a family emergency, I felt very much behind on our class' recent discussions today. However, the Pecha Kucha presentations enlightened me considerably as to what I've missed and gave me much-needed assurance that our trajectory as a class is on course and that I'll be back on track after Thursday's trip to Midtown. The Pecha Kuchas were a lot of fun, very informative, and provided us with the opportunity to see problems, potential solutions, and different perspectives of all of the aforementioned. The presentation format allows for quick idea-sharing, humor, and the chance to get to know one another a little better. I've actually done a few of them on my own for architecture studio, and I've perused an online database of various Pecha Kuchas to get a better idea of how to execute my own. I eagerly await Thursday's visit, and I hope I get a chance to share my presentation with the class afterward.

In addition to the Pecha Kuchas, it was enjoyable to hear discussions with Jeremy about why and how certain aspects of the ER are the way that they are as well as how they might improve. Most of us have not spent a great deal of time in ER's as patients or observers, but he provides us all with an invaluable perspective that will allow us to see the bigger picture as well as the smaller details. From what my classmates reported, the tour guides are also very well-informed, and I intend to formulate a number of questions to ask them if there is time on Thursday.

9/13/12 Today's class featured the remainder of Pecha Kucha presentations (minus my own) and a very exciting trip to Emory's ED. We met in the conference room of the ED and were introduced to the department by the program manager, who happens to be Ben's supervisor. We discussed the trans-discipline nature of ED and hospital design and operations, as well as some statistics about the rate of admittance and the number of patients that Emory handles on a day-to-day basis. We were then introduced to Dr. Mene, who was very kind and gave us an extensive tour of the facility while also providing his input about how the space in the ED may be optimized, notably mentioned was the "soiled linen" room near the back of the department. He stated that there is plenty of space in the ED for growth, just that it's been allocated improperly. I photographed several rooms, hallways, etc. This weekend I'll compile my Pecha Kucha and share my photos with the group, as well as type up my written notes.

9/18/12 Today's class featured a presentation by Jeremy which focused on the formulation of problem statements. In addition to reading several less-than-ideal examples, we were also given the opportunity to identify what the original author intended to say, how they went wrong, and how we might have summarized it ourselves. We also individually re-wrote 2 problem statements based on the "problematic" statements.

It would appear that we are reaching the point in the semester where we will begin to identify issues in the ED's that we've seen, team up, and begin constructing problem statements and proposals for solutions. As a warm up, we have 4-5 issues to identify and write a problem statement for Thursday's class.