Sasaki is delighted to welcome Jane Kleinman as our new Director of Health Sciences and Experiential Learning. With over 25 years of experience in the medical and education field, Kleinman brings an in-depth understanding of how to integrate efficient operations with visionary innovative program development at the intersection of pedagogy and space design.
Jane Kleinman, who started her career as a trauma center and flight nurse, has since followed a career trajectory nearly as unpredictable as a shift in the emergency room. Moving seamlessly between roles in patient care, academia, healthcare administration, and planning and design for healthcare facilities, Kleinman’s extraordinary wealth of experience has cultivated a unique passion and ability to create systems and spaces that support positive outcomes for all stakeholders in healthcare systems.
As her nursing career progressed into management, she returned to school and pursued a bachelor’s in public and healthcare administration, followed by a masters’ in business and organizational management, in order to better facilitate the intersection of healthcare system design and patient care outcomes. Continuing to work in healthcare administration, Kleinman forged a unique perspective that bridged her first-hand experiences in patient care with systems thinking. “Understanding and supporting operations at the bedside level in addition to the strategic, fiscal, and operational levels has been key in my ability to design, integrate, and move new service lines, programs, and perspectives forward,” explained Kleinman.
Kleinman believes that it was natural that her systems work led to space planning and design. “There’s an important overlap between systems and space,” she said. “So much of my work is to pro-actively identify the errors, omissions, and opportunities in those overlaps to ensure a facility can support unique types of use in the best possible way.”
Through a number of pivotal projects at academic health centers throughout the world, Kleinman began focusing on the role of experiential learning in healthcare education and the flexible spatial designs needed to support new pedagogies as they emerge. “At the outset, I noticed that pedagogy hadn’t caught up with technological developments, such as the common use of very high-tech, realistic robotic patients,” said Kleinman. “I knew that a new way to integrate the use of technology with teaching was necessary.”
In addition, she is a passionate supporter of the workforce demand for inter-professional education to prepare students to work in teams in realistic settings. An early experience supporting Providence Healthcare System’s expansion of a community college nursing program to meet the rapidly expanding nationwide gap in health care providers cemented her passion for working with educational institutions. Collaboratively working with a local college, donors, and hospital she created a highly successful model for shared flex use space, faculty, and finances that allowed for enrollment to double while integrating one of the first robust simulation centers.
With 14 years of experience teaching and designing immersive experiential curricula and the unique different types of space, technology, and operations necessary to support new pedagogies, she has emerged as a leader and expert in the evolution of health education pedagogical models and operations. Her consultant work has led to over 40 institutional projects successfully implemented in a multitude of settings and education fields. Regardless of the type or size of the project, Kleinman believes that asking clients the right questions while educating them on options, based on uniquely identified qualitative and quantitative data analysis integrated with current and future workforce education drivers and trends, is the key to successful outcomes.
After joining Sasaki, Kleinman reflected on the resonant areas of her philosophy and Sasaki’s practice. “I joined Sasaki because of the quality of the people and the extraordinary quality and depth of the work they do. The open office and interdisciplinary collaboration allows for ideas small and large to percolate and permeate.” She’s particularly excited to about helping leverage Sasaki’s planning and design strength to better health and wellness outcomes. “Health and wellness is impactful to and impacted by every type of space making—be it a classroom or playground, city plan or hallway plan, dorm room or storage room, high tech research equipment or simple light switch—and I’m looking forward to sharing my background and expertise with Sasaki to improve wellness across the board.”
Stay tuned for more about health sciences at Sasaki health in a piece about planning for health science facilities at three different scales featuring Kleinman.