American Health Facilities Development (AHFD) is a partner we’ve worked with on hundreds of projects over the years and an association that precedes the founding of JJCA. The relationship goes back to the early eighties when JJCA founding partner Ed Johnson began providing architectural and planning services to AHFD’s major clients. Over the years, the relationship has thrived, with Ed passing the torch to son David Johnson as JJCA has become AHFD’s preferred architect firm for masterplanning services. Exley Hill, AHFD’s president, explains that it’s unusual to get the kind of time and attention he receives directly from a firm’s principal – particularly someone with such considerable experience. Working with a smaller firm, Exley says, is great because “a question or issue doesn’t have to travel far to get attention.” The folks at JJCA, he says, are like family.
Steve Grode, VP of Planning at AHFD, has worked on numerous projects with David Johnson for almost a decade. He says he’s never given David a problem he can’t solve and it seems there is a friendly competition between them to see who can come up with the most creative solutions. Steve says he himself is a pretty creative guy but David is able to surpass him time and again. Steve cites Sparks Regional Medical Center as a great example of a situation he thought would stump David. The challenge was to take this older hospital – spread over several blocks, separated from the main thoroughfare by rundown and abandoned buildings, and under which major city underground communication lines are located – and radically enhance service, visibility and accessibility. Well, you guessed it, David succeeded. He literally “turned things around” for the hospital and the community of Ft. Smith, Arkansas. He reoriented the hospital towards a major thoroughfare by creating a fabulous new entrance into a wonderfully modernized facility.
Thanks to Exley Hill, Steve Grode, John Albert and all the great folks at AHFD for a great partnership. Here’s to our next 20 years!