Gresham Smith’s Lesa Lorusso Contributes to Research Recognized by EDRA

April 19, 2019

Gresham Smith announces that Healthcare Director of Research and Innovation Lesa N. Lorusso, Ph.D., MBA, MSArch, Allied AIA, ASID, RID, NCIDQ was part of the research team that received The Environmental Design Research Association’s (EDRA) Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) with Merit status for 2019. CORE recognizes rigorous, valuable, and impactful practice-based research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design.

The study, “Investigating the Impact of Multisensory Environments for People with Dementia,” was authored by Lesa Lorusso, Sheila Bosch, Nam-kyu Park, Ron Shorr, I. Maggie Freytes, Sherry Ahrentzen, and Maureen Conroy in collaboration with the University of Florida and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). The purpose was to further investigate environmental behavioral interventions for people with dementia. The research examines VA care staff’s perceptions of multisensory environments (MSE) and MSE impact on behavior for Veterans with dementia, to improve quality of care.

“Researching how the built environment impacts human behavior and applying that research is imperative for maximizing the impact of our design solutions,” said Al Pramuk, Chairman and CEO, Gresham Smith. “Achieving EDRA CORE certification is an incredible accomplishment and Lesa and the team should be proud. Being a part of this type of effort helps us to advance our clients’ goals, while sharing data and insights that will have an impact on staff and patients everywhere.”

“The built environment plays an important role in our health and wellbeing. From a healthcare standpoint, research that supports the connection between the built environment and improved patient and staff outcomes is much-needed. My grandmother was a Veteran of the Korean War who lived with dementia, so this particular area of study is near and dear to my heart,” commented Lorusso. “I am honored to have worked with the talented research team to help advance care for patients. In my role at Gresham Smith, I continuously look for ways to investigate and apply evidence-based design solutions that add value for our clients.”

EDRA CORE’s evaluation framework identifies practice-based environmental design research that is not only rigorous, but also offers measurable value, meets industry challenges, and advances design thinking; recognizes the importance of research in practice; provides a compass to guide designers, researchers, organizations, and manufacturers; and builds on EDRA’s tradition of inquiry, reflection, and collaboration and its commitment to innovation. The 2019 projects met the CORE criteria and were selected for recognition based on the review of a cross-disciplinary panel of reviewers consisting of academic researchers, practice-based researchers, designers, and industry thought leaders; Merit status signifies research that scores highly. Download the project profile here.