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Ethen Richard

Vantage Point: A new perspective on veteran healthcare services.

A project for US military veterans that fosters an appreciation for life through cathartic landscape design implementation at a Veteran’s Administration Healthcare facility in southern California.


As a veteran and patient who utilizes the Department of Veteran Affairs healthcare system, I have experienced firsthand the difficulties regarding the transition from military to civilian life. Some of these difficulties include living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance abuse disorders which exacerbate the veteran suicide crisis. This loss affects the veteran community and their loved ones on a regular basis. This was my inspiration for creating Vantage Point.
Current VA hospitals, while helpful to many, are not as functional and holistic as they could be. I considered four environments (the built, the natural, the symbolic, and the social) to create a design program that empowers our US veterans and addresses the veteran suicide crisis. Critical thinking regarding the spaces surrounding VA medical facilities can more effectively fulfill veterans’ personal needs. Veteran suicide rates can be drastically reduced by the radical improvement of the designs of these spaces.

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