Due to rigorous safety regulations, health care industries set high standards for architecture firms they hire to design medical buildings, especially adolescent psychiatric facilities. After talking with CEOs of several in-patient mental health facilities, Stephanie Ireland, CEO of Ireland Architects, learned there is a large need for more of these institutions, but safety regulations can be complicated.
The Big Idea
Ireland knew she could design adolescent psychiatric facilities if she learned the rules and regulations. She launched her career by working on small projects for St. John’s Hospital, now Mercy Springfield Communities. This positioned her to take on bigger projects for more niche facilities, including Lakeland Behavioral Health System, a psychiatric facility serving children and teens.
The Learning Curve
Ireland didn’t want to be restricted to designing medical facilities just in Missouri, so she earned her master’s in architecture in order to take on projects in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Illinois. She chose Boston Architectural College because at the time, it was the only architecture school offering a mostly online degree, which allowed Ireland to build her career in southwest Missouri.