HOK commemorates its 50th anniversary by launching diagnostic and treatment centre in Mbirikani, Kenya

In recognition of its 50th anniversary in 2005, global design firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK) will fund the construction upgrades, outfitting, staffing and launch of a solar-powered diagnostic and treatment centre in southeastern rural Kenya.

HOK’s $500,000 donation to Africa Infectious Disease Village Clnics, Inc. will enable the Chicago-based public charity to launch the most comprehensive tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment initiative in the region, located at the 240building Mbirikani Clinic complex. This contribution exemplifies the firm’s longstanding commitment to enriching lives and creating more sustainable communities.

"For 50 years, HOK has made a measurable difference around the world through design that minimizes impact on the environment while providing healthy living, working and recreational spaces for people. IN our 50th anniversary year, we are taking that commitment one step further with a contribution that will measurably improve the lives of thousands of people for decades to come," states Gordon Stratford, Principal of Urbana Architects Corporation and Senior Vice President and Director of Design of HOK Canada. "In its broadest sense, sustainability is about creating healthy, responsible and economically viable communities, which can mean ensuring that basic human needs such as access to quality health care, are satisfied."

Scheduled to begin accepting patients in 2005, the HOK Diagnostic and Treatment Centre will conduct safe and effective X-ray procedures to screen patients for TB and other conditions and illnesses, meeting the needs of the indigenous Maasai villagers, part of the grossly underserved rural African population who are at the forefront of the worst health crisis in human history.

The new Centre will minimize the need to refer patients tot the nearest available diagnostic facility a two-day walk to undergo X-ray procedures that greatly enhance treatment options and outcomes.

AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases in Africa devastate communities, economies and governments. There is a clear correlation between inadequate health care and lack of effective diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and a reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

"As the world becomes smaller via international trade and business, we must consider the citizens of all countries our neighbours. Africans, who are so overwhelmingly impacted by AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, should be a concern of every individual, company and organization around the world," states Ann Lurie, Chairman and President of AID Village Clinics. "HOK is to be commended for its commitment to creating sustainable communities and for being a philanthropic leader in the architectural community."

The HOK Diagnostic and Treatment Centre will be housed in a building renovated by Economic Housnig Group (EHG), the Nairobi-based construction firm which built the Mbirikani Clinic complex using modular systems designed by architects at the University of Nairobi Housing and Research Unit.

HOK is a global firm that specializes in planning, design and delivery solutions for the built environment. Through its collaborative network of 22 offices worldwide, the firm serves diverse clients within the corporate, commercial, public and institutional markets. HOK is committed to developing resources and expertise to help lead the world toward sustainable communities and building environments. Founded in 1955, the firm’s expertise includes architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, lighting, graphics, and facilities planning and assessment.