HOK Commemorates 50th Anniversary by Launching Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Mbirikani, Kenya
Project Illustrates Architectural Firm’s Commitment to Sustainable Communities
CHICAGO, IL, June 6, 2005 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- In recognition of its 50th anniversary in 2005, global architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK) will fund the construction upgrades, outfitting, staffing and launch of a solar-powered diagnostic and treatment center in southeastern rural Kenya.
HOK’s $500,000 donation to Africa Infectious Disease Village Clinics, 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 24-building Mbirikani Clinic complex. This contribution exemplifies HOK’s long-standing commitment to enriching lives and creating more sustainable communities.
“For 50 years, HOK has made a measurable difference around the world by designing buildings and communities that minimize impacts on the environment and are 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 Bill Valentine, Chairman of HOK. “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 mid-2005, the HOK Diagnostic and Treatment Center 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 Center will minimize the need to refer patients to 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 disease, 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 neighbors. 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 Center will be housed in a building renovated by Economic Housing 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. A formal dedication of the Center is scheduled for October 2005 to coincide with HOK’s 50th Anniversary celebration.
About Africa Infectious Disease Village Clinics, Inc. (AID Village Clinics)
AID Village Clinics is a rapidly growing clinical initiative becoming recognized for its ability to successfully deliver antiretroviral treatment under extreme resource-poor conditions of rural Africa. A registered U.S. public charity, AID Village Clinics’ mission is to improve the health and quality of life for rural village communities in Africa by providing timely and accurate disease diagnosis, treatment, prevention and healthcare education. The clinic site is the Mbirikani Group Ranch, a 300,000 acre compound 125 miles southeast of Nairobi, home to indigenous Maasai people. In working with the Maasai, AID Village Clinics is dedicated to building capacity within the community while adhering to the principle of respect for its culture, people, land, and in general, their way of life.
HOK is a global architectural firm that specializes in planning, design and delivery solutions for buildings and communities. 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, facilities planning and assessment, and construction services.
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