Jordan Kravitz, associate architect at SmithGroup, has goals, passion and drive in spades. In addition to taking over the role of current AIA Phoenix Metro president, Kravitz is also a dedicated advocate for women’s reproductive rights pertaining to healthcare architecture.
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Early on in her journey as an architect specializing in healthcare-related projects, Kravitz knew she wanted to make a difference.
“Anything I can do to help improve the experience of someone in the healthcare space — whether it’s making an environment calmer for patients and their families or making it more efficient so the physicians and staff can do their jobs better and heal the patients better — I would say that’s probably been the highlight of my career,” she says.
A seemingly innocuous moment during the pandemic — as Kravitz was making banana bread and listening to a podcast — ended up propelling her desire to help others in healthcare into a particular passion for women’s reproductive healthcare rights.
“The podcast started talking about TRAP laws, which are targeted regulations of abortion providers,” Kravitz explains, “These laws are medically unnecessary laws that focus on abortion providers specifically. They’re under the guise of health, safety and wellness and written into states’ administrative codes. Not every state has them, but Arizona has them.”
Abandoning her banana bread project, Kravitz immediately dove into research, examining how TRAP laws impact the formulation and construction of reproductive rights clinics. To help further her knowledge and understanding, she went on to apply for a grant from her company — SmithGroup.
“They had this program called the Exploration Grant Program,” she says. “The purpose of the grant is to help someone do a self-studied or self-paced study or research project, a knowledge gap that’s missing from the industry.”
After receiving the grant, Kravitz wrote a guidebook focused on states that had TRAP laws to help other architects and clinics understand their state administrative codes, the FGI guidelines and how they interact together.
“I am also currently doing a project outside of my company, on my own personal time, with Syracuse University and another architect named Laurie Brown, from Syracuse,” Kravitz says. “We are currently surveying architects throughout the country. We’re focused currently on four states, but the survey is to find out if architects are actually even willing to design and construct abortion facilities.”
As she continues to advocate and conduct research for women’s reproductive rights within her industry, Kravitz looks forward to completing the finishing touches on the guidebook, as well as the exciting events and initiatives she’s helped to curate as AIA president.
“It’s going to be a really great year for AIA,” she says. “We have so much planned — from sustainability initiatives to equity diversity initiatives. We have social plans and happy hours with other organizations.”
In her incoming AIA Phoenix Metro letter, she adds, “It is my hope that we continue to speak up on important issues and have courageous conversations relating to sustainability to safeguard our desert landscape and to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in our profession.”