Park Nicollet's "Project Better Gown" design contest
In the past two hundred years, medicine has made astonishing advances in the care of patients. Ether was discovered in 1846, allowing surgery to be performed without pain. X-rays were discovered in 1896. Insulin, penicillin and the polio vaccine were discovered in the 20th century. In 2006, scientists finished mapping the human genome.
And yet, with all of these advances, patients who receive medical care today are essentially wearing the same thing that patients wore before the advent of anesthesia. The hospital gown, which began as a Victorian-era nightshirt with a slit down the back, hasn’t significantly changed in two centuries. Today, hospital gowns are still flimsy pieces of cloth with an open, peek-a-boo back that cause embarrassment and undermine the dignity of patients when they are at their most vulnerable.
But that is about to change.
Park Nicollet Foundation is sponsoring a student design competition with five college design programs to create a new hospital gown that puts the needs of the patient first and foremost while still meeting the medical needs of doctors and nurses. Students were given the project on September 22 and had until October 21 to submit their work. Park Nicollet received 15 original gowns and on October 22 a panel of experts from the fields of design, fashion and health care gathered to critique and judge each gown. The top nine finalists will be selected to show their designs in a live runway show during the Park Nicollet Foundation Celebration for Life Gala on October 29 at the Minneapolis Hilton where the winners will be announced and the audience will vote on a “People’s Choice Award.
A total of $40,000 in Fellowship Grants will be awarded to the design students: $20,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, $5,000 for third place and $5,000 for the People’s Choice Award.
Park Nicollet Health Services will own all the intellectual property rights to the winning designs and will evaluate them along with industry experts for their potential to be commercially developed and sold in the health care marketplace.
Watch WCCO-TV’s story about Project Better Gown.