Forhan & Lederer, IDSA

Mary Forhan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada

Mary Forhan, PhD, is an occupational therapist with 27 years of clinical experience working with individuals living with obesity. She has contributed to position statements on obesity and occupational therapy in Canada and with the World Health Organization.

She is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alberta, Canada. Forhan leads the Bariatric Care and Rehabilitation Research Group (BCRRG) which aims to reduce the disability experienced by persons living with obesity. BCRG addresses issues in the personal, built and social environment.

Robert Lederer, IDSA
Associate Professor of Industrial Design
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada

Robert Lederer, IDSA, has practiced as an industrial designer (staff designer and a freelance consultant) in Australia and Canada. He is an associate professor of industrial design, program coordinator and an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine University of Alberta.

Lederer teaches classes in design principles, human factors and advanced industrial design practice. His research has included examining “seamless technological interface” in patient treatment systems utilizing rapid-prototyping 3D imagery and other digital formats.

He applies universal design methodology in the design of products for an aging population and to improve the environment for persons living with obesity.


Welding the Bariatric Experience with the Healthcare Service Delivery Environment

Obesity is a complex health condition that is misunderstood greatly—and persons living with obesity have been stereotyped negatively. Designing healthcare service spaces and furnishings for patients with obesity is a wicked problem. With obesity reaching epidemic proportions worldwide, there is a high demand for spaces and furnishings that promote participation in healthcare services and dignity for persons with obesity.

Assistant Professor Mary Forhan, PhD, and Associate Professor Robert Lederer, IDSA, are from the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada. They will share the process and results of an interdisciplinary collaboration of healthcare administrators and practitioners, industrial design students, occupational therapists, obesity advocates, industrial designers and researchers who are working with a hospital to create a bariatric friendly environment.

The goal: to improve quality of care, reduce in-hospital length-of-stay and protect patients and care providers from injury.