University Receives Leverage 2018 Award from Community Design Collaborative

Executive Dean Barbara Klinkhammer, President and CEO Stephen Klasko, Collaborative Executive Director Beth Miller and JeffDESIGN's Bon Ku at the Celebration of Design and Community.

Executive Dean Barbara Klinkhammer, President and CEO Stephen Klasko, Collaborative Executive Director Beth Miller and JeffDESIGN’s Bon Ku at the Celebration of Design and Community.

Philadelphia’s Community Design Collaborative gave its Leverage 2018 award to President and CEO Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, for excellence in design at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

The award recognized two Jefferson entities: JeffDESIGN, including the curriculum for design thinking in medicine; and the College of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Joining Dr. Klasko at the Celebration of Design and Community on April 10 were Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of the College Architecture and the Built Environment, and Bon Ku, MD, MPP, assistant dean for health and design, and director of JeffDESIGN.

“No institution can call itself great when its community has a 20-year gap in life expectancy between ZIP codes,” Dr. Klasko said. “This award recognizes our commitment to making life better in our city … by design.”

The Community Design Collaborative provides pro bono architectural and design services to nonprofit organizations and raises awareness of the importance of design in revitalizing communities.

“The Collaborative sees many parallels between Stephen Klasko’s approach and our philosophy,” said Beth Miller, Collaborative executive director. “He understands the impact of creative, inclusive problem-solving and the power of design to foster innovation, empathy and optimism. He shares our belief that the best solutions emerge from interdisciplinary collaboration and that design is a key contributor to the reinvention and revitalization of greater Philadelphia’s underserved communities.”

This year, the Collaborative has provided volunteer design services to a new initiative at JeffDESIGN—a mobile design thinking laboratory called CoLab Philadelphia, which will travel to different neighborhoods throughout the city. CoLab Philadelphia will be launched at a community event in Kensington on April 25.

“This award from an organization that includes so many of our graduates shows that our commitment to improving our city, neighborhoods and community is alive and well,” Klinkhammer said.

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