There is a health epidemic happening in the United States. Many health professionals would likely argue that Americans are far less healthy than they have ever been thanks to a food supply that makes food and snacks that are high on calories and fat and low on nutrients widely available to the public. In order for most people to lead healthy lives that will allow them to avoid preventable diseases they must carefully select and curate the foods that they eat and likely eschew much of the food that is widely available to the majority of the general population and opt for fresh foods that are grown by farmers and sold at farmers’ markets as opposed to the produce that is sold at grocery store franchises.
The problem of the less than stellar state of health of Americans is one that requires a broad and multi-pronged approach that likely involves the input of professionals who work in and who have been trained in professions that might not typically seem relevant to the world of medicine and healthcare.
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Can health problems such as adulthood diabetes, obesity and heart disease that are increasingly impacting more Americans be fought using the tools that are in the toolkits of trained architects? One architect thinks so. That architect is named Robert Ivy and he is the head of a well regarded organization that exists to meet the needs of architects all around the country as well as advocate for the role that architects and architecture itself plays in American society. Robert Ivy was appointed to lead the architecture-focused entity known as the American Institute of Architects in 2011. That year he became both the Chief Executive Officer as well as the Executive Vice President of the organization and effectively took up the role of shaping the profession of architecture in the United States and advocating for the needs of architects. The organization was founded in 1857 with more than 90,000 people as their members. They headquartered in Washington DC.
One of the ways that Robert Ivy has been living up to the duties that he took on as the Chief Executive Officer of America’s leading association for architects is by offering up his thoughts and ideas for what the present and the future of architecture in America could and should look like. Robert has published several editorials for the website that is known as the Huffington Post about how architects are uniquely suited and situated to play a far more pivotal role in health and healthcare than they already do. According to Robert Ivy architects can play a role in combating health conditions such as obesity or heart disease by designing buildings that encourage the people who are using them or living in them to take on more healthy habits. His writing has been instrumental at reflecting the connections between healthcare and architecture and how they can advance the health of communities.