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SCNM Campus Expansion: Jain Malkin, Interior Designer


Jain Malkin is often referred to as one of the best health care designer in the world. If you’ve seen the rendering of our new building’s interior, you can see why. 

Jain Malkin is president of Jain Malkin Inc., a La Jolla, California, interior architecture firm specializing in health care facilities. A leader in the field of healthcare design, she has lectured widely and written numerous articles and books on the psychological effects of healthcare environments.

Jain Malkin has been named one of the “Most Influential People in Healthcare Design” and is a board member of The Center for Health Design and the editorial advisory board of the Health Environments Research & Design (HERD) Journal.

Jain Malkin shares how she started out in health care and how her relationship with SCNM and naturopathic medicine has made this project special to her:


When I moved to California in the late 60s, I was starting fresh. I thought I should look at an area of design that wasn’t well-covered, and that was health care. At the time, I didn’t realize how few practitioners there were in this field and there were no books or reference materials.

I started educating myself about the health care industry. I went to hospitals and doctors’ offices and sat and observed. I observed how patients were treated and the processes that were employed mostly for the convenience of the staff, not patients. My goal was to see the facility through the patient’s eyes. What is their perception of being sick? How does the family react to the stress? I formulated ideas on how the built environment could help reduce the anxiety of being in a health care facility, based on my degree in psychology which gave me the ability to understand research and to create a scaffold of studies in various disciplines that helped to explain the impact of these stressors.

After a few years of gathering thousands of photos, I finally put all my research into a book. It was one of the first books on health care design, and I’ve written five more since then. There are now more books on the topic of health care design but my books helped to lay the foundation for the field. My book “Hospital Interior Architecture” was the first to propose a research basis for design, identifying the specific needs of various types of patients. As an example, rehab patients need something different than cancer patients, and children have very unique needs. Several of my books focus on medical and dental office design with specific information related to each medical or dental specialty.

This building is special to me in part because of the people I worked with in leadership: Dr. Christine Girard, Dr. Paul Mittman, Dawn Rector and the developer, Bryan Mar.  They were just the most wonderful people since the first day I met them. They picked me up from the airport, took me to lunch, and right away I was very impressed with what they wanted to accomplish and by their sincerity.

I am a firm believer in naturopathic medicine—nutrition and a healthy lifestyle has always been very important to me. This project has been a perfect pairing for both the College and for me because I understood the principles and what the leadership team wanted to convey in the design in the building. Integrative medicine is something I believe in and follow myself.

During this project I have worked with wonderful people I know I can trust and I feel fortunate to have been able to build close relationships with the leadership team at SCNM.

I would like to thank my former colleagues at Jain Malkin Inc. who collaborated with me on this project. Their talent and creativity are much in evidence.


Joost Bende, AIA, EDAC
President | Principal Architect
Pacific 33

Christie Mayer
Associate, Senior Project Designer
Pacific 33

Kelly Kreuzinger, CID, ASID, LEED
Creative Director, Principal
KSpace Design