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  Founding Advisory Board

Wayne Ruga
Founder and President
The CARITAS Project

Wayne Ruga has devoted his career to creating and supporting the development of spaces that inspire the advancement of human potential. His primary area of focus is in the demonstration of the role that the environment plays in enhancing human health and well-being, particularly in the healthcare setting. As the world's leading authority and spokesperson on this subject, Wayne has developed an international reputation as a champion of keeping an intentional heart-centered culture as the focus of personal and organizational visions, planning decisions, design, building solutions, and operational strategies.

A world-renowned architect, scholar, and visionary, Wayne launched The CARITAS Project as the next phase of his quest to activate people's capacity for transformational health. He envisions a world that demonstrates the valuing of respect for human dignity, both in terms of the business culture and the lived-experience of the environment. His goal for The CARITAS Project is to provide the research, resources, techniques, and real-world opportunities that will bring this philosophy into the mainstream as part of everyday practice.

To that end, Wayne has designed structures, conducted and funded the development and dissemination of research, developed policy and programs, produced symposia and created networks of like-minded, trans-disciplinary professionals to work together toward the common goal of enhancing the health and well-being of all people.

Wayne founded the annual Symposium on Healthcare Design (HFSE) in 1985 and the non-profit Center for Health Design (CHD) in 1992. As its founder, president and CEO, he was responsible for producing 12 Symposia, as well as publishing 10 journals of their proceedings, five significant research projects, and 24 newsletters. He also started three design competitions and developed three built demonstration projects. During this time, he was also the leader of two international study tours and developed graduate healthcare design programs in two universities.

In 1998, Wayne was awarded the highly competitive Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies within the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. In 1999, he received the distinction of becoming a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome.

In 2000, Wayne was a Work Scholar at the Esalen Institute for an immersive learning experience about Gestalt practices.

in 2000, Wayne received a generous grant from the UK government to conduct orginal research in how health can be improved through design of the environment. In 2003, this research enabled The CARITAS Project to develop its second project — PRAXIS ONE, and its third project — Leading by Design. In 2005, Wayne was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree for the original contribution of this research to knowledge. This research enabled Wayne to define and develop the concept of 'generative space' for health and healthcare improvement.

Wayne is a highly sought after public speaker and has given scores of lectures at major universities and professional meetings worldwide. A prolific author, he has had dozens of articles published, has had his work recognized in books written by his peers, and has been featured in more than 50 professional, trade, and consumer publications.

Wayne received his professional training as an artist, interior designer and architect. He holds a specialized Master of Architecture degree in healthcare facility planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been employed by internationally recognized firms in New York, London, Atlanta and San Francisco, in addition to maintaining his private architectural practice since 1981. In this capacity he has designed projects around the world.

Wayne is a recognized leader in innovative thinking. He holds four US patents, has served as a professor in university-based management and design schools, has provided strategic consultations to organizations and executives around the world, has chaired numerous committees, and has served as an appointed Director on a variety of Boards.

Wayne is a registered architect in California and a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects. He is a Fellow in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and an Honorary Fellow in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). He has been the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and distinctions, including the ASID's most prestigious awards: The Design for Humanity and the National Innovation Award; EDRA's Service Award; and the IIDA's Presidential Citation. Additionally, Wayne has been inducted into the Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture, and has been recognized in the 2000 issue of Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century.

In 2007, Wayne conducted his third—and last—healthcare design study tour for the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program: meeting with fellow professionals, universities, and healthcare organizations of China.

For additional information about Wayne's professional work, click here.