Skip to main content
Start of main content

Hard Hats with Heart: Giving with the community’s health in mind

April 05, 2018

By Christopher Wilson

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, and construction industry workers have a higher risk; it’s time to help lower risk factors

During my 25-plus years in the design industry, I’ve been on hundreds of construction sites and have always worn the proper PPE—including my hard hat. It’s always exciting to see a project come to life, with health and safety as top priorities throughout the project lifecycle.

Yet, in all those site visits, I never thought about the hard hat protecting my heart. But my perspective has evolved. When I was younger, two of my grandparents fell victim to heart disease, and it’s a cause I’m emotionally invested in. 

That’s why I’m part of the Hard Hats with Heart Leadership Committee for 2018. Hard Hats with Heart is the first-ever, industry-specific event for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Greater Bay Area Division in California. Now in its second year, this event brings together professionals from across the construction and healthcare industries for an evening of networking and programming on the health impact work of the AHA. As part of my participation, I am taking a leadership role in helping AHA conduct fundraising for this important cause. 

University of California, San Francisco Medical Center at Mission Bay.

Hard Hats with Heart benefits the American Heart Association’s work to build healthier communities free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, specifically aimed at the construction industry’s elevated risk.

It’s incredibly rewarding to support local community organizations. There’s a big difference between one-time volunteer events and sponsoring a fundraiser that establishes a long-term partnership, and I feel extremely lucky to be a part of a global firm with a passion for creating strong and vibrant communities. At Stantec, we aim to make a difference in the places where we live and work—whether that be through donations, sponsorships, or volunteering. I love what I do, and I’m most passionate producing work that enables me to connect with communities to help strengthen them in meaningful ways.

San Francisco, our hearts are here

What’s so meaningful to me is that our involvement in this event isn’t an aberration. We have a long history of working with healthcare providers in the Bay Area to make a difference in our community.

In South San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, Stantec is working with biotechnology leaders to bring lifesaving pharmaceuticals to market. With the Laguna Honda Replacement Hospital, we designed the first hospital in California to be awarded LEED Silver certification. We are finishing construction on an in-patient rehabilitation hospital for the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a longtime client of more than two decades. At the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Mission Bay, we helped create a three-hospitals-in-one facility that focuses on cancer, children, and women’s programs. It’s designed to create and deliver life-changing healthcare research, treatment, and innovation.

Our team is also spearheading the design of another UCSF project, the UCSF Precision Cancer Medicine Building (PCMB), a cutting-edge treatment facility where patients can receive the best in outpatient cancer care. At the UCSF PCMB, the cancer treatment experience is designed to demonstrate for patients and doctors a new, collaborative way to treat the disease. For me, there is a deep personal fulfillment that comes from an emotional project like this. 

Laguna Honda Replacement Hospital.

Laying the foundation for an exciting road ahead

To continue our community involvement in the Bay Area, Stantec has pledged $15,000 toward the AHA’s Hard Hats with Heart fundraising efforts. The funds raised for this event will enable the American Heart Association to continue their work of funding groundbreaking research, developing guidelines to improve patient care, and helping educate our architecture, engineering, and construction community and key industries on how to lower their risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Our team is looking forward to opportunities to join the Bay Area Heart Walks later this year, too. As a member of the Hard Hats for Hearts Leadership Committee, I’m extremely proud to be a part of a group that invests in a cause that’s not only important to me, but to the Bay Area community and the AEC industry. Donate to the AHA and Hard Hats for Heart. 

End of main content
To top