Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: Social Distancing and Buildings

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March 24
Live Online
Online DC United States
ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative


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Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: Social Distancing and Buildings

Tuesday, March 24 1:00-2:15 pm EDT (5:00pm – 6:15pm GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), 6:00pm – 7:15pm CET (Central European Time)

Governments around the world are racing to control the spread of the coronavirus. Essential steps include careful hand-washing and urgent and comprehensive “social distancing” to minimize all unnecessary interpersonal contact. Slowing the transmission of COVID-19 provides additional time to those who are on the front lines of the battle against the disease and helps “flatten the curve” of the outbreak; during a pandemic, time is a precious and life-saving gift. Building management and operational strategies can support and complement comprehensive social distancing measures. In this webinar, hear from experts in infectious disease, healthy buildings, and pandemic planning.


Confirmed Speakers:

Whitney Austin Gray, PhD, LEED AP, WELL AP, WELL Faculty
Senior Vice President, International WELL Building Institute

Whitney Austin GrayDr. Gray brings over a decade of expertise as an international leader in the intersection of health and built environment. At the International WELL Building Institute, she leads research that supports adoption of healthy building practices. She led the development of the first case studies focused on the WELL Building Standard, and helped to launch over 100 educational and training sessions related to WELL in over 25 countries, reaching over 15,000 design and health professionals.

Prior to joining Delos, Dr. Gray served as the Health Research and Innovation Director for Cannon Design, a global healthcare design firm, where she oversaw the company’s primary and secondary research, prototyping and innovation platforms. Before her tenure with Cannon Design, she led building science research at the MedStar Institute for Innovation. She holds dual appointments as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Georgetown School of Nursing & Health Studies and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Dr. Gray’s efforts have been widely published and she is an invited presenter at national and international conferences. Dr. Gray co-founded the NIH Health in Buildings Roundtable, is an Advisory Board member at the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, and with the International Academy of Health and Design. She received her PhD from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA in Public Health Studies from The Johns Hopkins University, and was the first public health professional to become LEED AP.


Catherine L. Troisi, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston

Catherine TroisiDr. Catherine Troisi is an infectious disease epidemiologist and Associate Professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston. Previously, Dr. Troisi was Director of Public Health Practice at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) and previous to that, Assistant Director of HDHHS, overseeing the Communicable Diseases Division, and Bureau Chief for the HIV/STD Prevention. Prior to joining the health department, Dr. Troisi was on the faculty in the Division of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at BCM for 14 years and the University of Texas School of Public Health for seven years. Her research focuses on viral hepatitis and HIV, including diagnostic and vaccine evaluation studies. She has both laboratory experience in viral hepatitis as well as community experience in controlling infectious diseases. The proposed project focuses on development of a POC assay to detect active hepatitis C infection. This is crucial for rapid detection and referral to treatment of HCV in marginalized populations such as persons who use drugs, those experiencing homelessness, and lower income persons. This overlaps with Dr. Troisi’s interest, expertise, and substantial record of accomplishment in the epidemiology of infectious diseases and HIV. She is the current site principal-investigator of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) study in Houston/Harris County that surveys these populations and a CPRIT-funded project educating, detecting, and referring to treatment for hepatitis B and C in a population in permanent supportive housing.


Susan Bazak, M.A. Disaster & Emergency Management

 Susan BazakSusan Bazak is the Principal of Bazak Consulting, a firm which works with private, public, NGO and education sectors to develop world-class, evidence-based emergency management programs in alignment with international best-practice standards.

Ms Bazak has worked as an emergency management specialist for all levels of government since 2002, and as an emergency manager in the commercial real estate sector since 2012. Bazak Consulting conducts pandemic planning workshops and has authored pandemic planning guidance for building owners and operators in North America and China.

Moderated by:

Rachel MacCleery, Urban Land Institute

Rachel MacCleery is Senior Vice President at the Urban Land Institute, where she leads the organization’s Building Healthy Places Initiative and other programs. Rachel is spearheading ULI’s efforts to leverage the power of its global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities, through design and programming strategies that increase opportunities for physical activity, social engagement, access to healthy food and nature, and other ingredients of holistically healthy living. Rachel has extensive knowledge of land use, environment and sustainability, social equity, and infrastructure policy and practice issues. Rachel has worked at ULI since 2008 and previously worked for AECOM and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation. She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and has lived in China off and on since 1994. She currently lives in Washington, DC.


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