James M. Hunt

James M. Hunt, AIA, is a practicing architect and facility management professional with over 45 years of experience. He is a registered Architect and began his career practicing architecture for several major healthcare projects. He then served as director of facilities management for the Menninger Clinic for 20 years. He regularly publishes articles and speaks at major conferences. He is the coauthor of “The Behavioral Health Design Guide ” that is published electronically (free of charge) on this website by clicking on it in the upper right corner of the home page.

Jim is now the president of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC, an organization that has assisted over 80 psychiatric hospitals and behavioral health facilities in 28 states and Canada with improving patient and staff safety. He consults with hospitals and architects on the design of new construction and remodeling projects.>
2342 SE Alamar Road | Topeka, Kansas 66605-1850
Ph: 785-231-4500

email: jim@bhfcllc.com


Services have been provided at these locations

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
British Columbia, Canada

Kimbery McMurray


Ms. Kimberly Newton McMurray, AIA, EDAC, MBA


Kimberly N. McMurray is a principal of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

McMurray is a practicing architect and healthcare planner with 32 years of leadership experience in healthcare and academic medical campus architecture; she has been responsible for the implementation of large architectural projects located within complex medical campus sites, delivering the highest quality for each project initiative. McMurray is well versed for project delivery at each level of development including from facility assessments, regulatory compliance with health governing agencies – developing projects from program planning, design through construction administration.  McMurray has a decade of experience from the owner’s perspective and working with multi-disciplinary user groups, thereby embracing a unique perspective and response to client needs; applying her knowledge of clinical operations, evidence based design, lean operational planning and conceptual design to architecture.

Among McMurray’s three decades of healthcare architectural expertise, she brings a high-level of experience with behavioral health project types.  During her experience on-staff architect at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System (UAB), she was planner and project manager for several inpatient nursing units renovation projects located at the UAB Center for Psychiatric Medicine, and development of the psychiatric unit for the emergency department at the UAB North Pavilion.  After working on-staff at UAB Health System for 7 years, she returned to architectural practice and consulting.

McMurray’s most recent project experience with behavioral health include:


    • University of Minnesota Medical Center, West Bank Fairview Hospital – Patient and Staff Safety Assessment for 1) East Building Adolescent Units (42 beds); 2) South Building Pediatric Emergency Services; 3) North and West Buildings Adult inpatient units (9 units); and 4) Adult Emergency Services.
    • Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Fairbanks, Alaska – Patient and Staff Safety Assessment for 1) Adult Emergency Services; 2) Adult Inpatient Unit (20 beds) and 3) Pediatric Med/Surg for Behavioral Health.
    • St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin – Behavioral Health Inpatient Unit Renovation, 60% Construction Document Plan Review.
    • CentraCare Health, St. Cloud, Minnesota – Patient and Staff Safety Review for Residential Behavioral Health Facilities at 3 residential facility and 1 outpatient service locations.
    • Mercy Health System, Michigan – Patient and Staff Safety Review for three Adult Inpatient units located in Ann Arbor, Oakland and Livonia.
    • Eating Recovery Center, Denver, Colorado – Patient and Staff Safety Review for Adult (2-Units) and Adolescent (1-Unit) Inpatients Units.
    • Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, New Jersey – Patient and Staff Safety Assessment for Adult Inpatient Unit (30 beds); and Crisis Unit Emergency Services.  
    • Kingsbrook Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York – Patient and Staff Safety Assessment for Inpatient Adult Unit and Geriatric Unit.
    • Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York – Patient and Staff Safety Assessment for Inpatient Adult Units (Two Adult Units), Inpatient Adolescent Unit, Evaluation Psychiatry Emergency Services.
    • Colorado Mental Health Institute Pueblo, Hawkins Bldg #12 – Consulting Services with Davis Partnership Architects, Denver, Colorado, new building addition for forensic patients.
    • Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority, Cherokee, North Carolina – Consulting Services with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Charlotte, NC, Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic and Inpatient Unit, New Building Addition.
    • Banner University Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona – Consulting Services with HKS Architects for Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, located at 9th floor of the New Hospital Tower.
    • Sinai Hospital, Miami, Florida – Consulting Services with Hospital and Stantec Architecture – Renovation for Inpatient Adult Unit.
    • FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Pinehurst, North Carolina – Patient and Staff Safety Risk Assessment for 1) Moore Regional Hospital Inpatient Units (50 beds); 2) Richmond Memorial Hospital Emergency Services; and 3) FirstHealth Regional Hamlet.
    • JPS Health Network, Fort Worth, Texas – Patient and Staff Safety       Risk Assessments for 1) Psychiatric Emergency Center; 2) Integrated       Specialty Unit (16 beds); 3) Trinity Springs Inpatient services (80 beds); and 4) Trinity Springs North (16 beds).
    • Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey – Patient and Staff Safety Risk Assessment for 1) Inpatient behavioral health unit (24 beds); 2) Adult Emergency Services; and 3) Pediatric Emergency Services.
    • Alabama Department of Mental Health, Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Patient and Staff Safety Risk Assessments for 1) Bryce Adult Hospital (268 beds); 2) Harper Center Geriatric Hospital (96 beds); and 3) Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility Forensic Hospital (114 beds).
    • Alabama Department of Mental Health, Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Architect for Taylor Hardin Secure Mental Facility (THSMF) new forensic 25 bed nursing unit, THSMF facility renovation for technology and data upgrades, and THSMF security control room renovation.
    • Alabama Department of Mental Health, Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Architect for Ligature Resistant Upgrades including door hardware and toilet room upgrades in response to recent surveys by The Joint Commission and CMS for Harper Center Geriatric Facility.
    • DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Safe Room Patient and Staff Safety Assessment at Regional Emergency Department.

McMurray is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; registered architect in the state of Alabama and Georgia; has certification with the National Council Architectural Registration Board (NCARB), holds accreditation from the Center for Health Design Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), and Lean Healthcare Certification from Auburn University Technical Center.   McMurray is a graduate of Arizona State University College of Architecture with a 5-Year Bachelor of Architecture (1985 B.Arch) and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2000 MBA).


McMurray speaks frequently and contributes to her concentration in healthcare profession on a national level, currently as Board of Directors and Vice President of Design with the Institute of Patient Centered Design, served two years with Arizona State University College of Design Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board (2009-2010); an active member of American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture Health; member of the Center for Health Design; associate member of the American Society of Hospital Engineering.


Local community, McMurray is a 2013 graduate of the Leadership Tuscaloosa, 2019 Chairman-elect of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Executive Committee for the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority.  She has received the following honors of recognition:  2016 Chamber Member of the Year, 2016 UA College of Engineering Distinguished Fellow Award, 2015 AIA President’s Award, and 2015 Institute of Patient Centered Design Impact Award.


Architectural speaking engagements include:

  • “Ligature Attachment and Suicide Risk Assessment on Behavioral Health Inpatient Units” – California Society Healthcare Engineers, (April 2018), San Diego, California
  • “Designing Behavioral Health Inpatient Units” – Cornerstone Health Group Leadership Conference, Behavioral Health Work session, (April 2018), Dallas, Texas.
  • “Ligature Attachment and Suicide Risk Assessment on Behavioral Health Inpatient Units” –Missouri Hospital Association (January 2018) – Webinar with attendees at the Missouri Hospital Association Conference for Behavioral Health in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • The Patient-Centered Health Design Competition for Behavioral Health: Update and Ongoing Development” (November 2016) – – Co Speaker with Tammy Thompson, SCAD Faculty; Jim Hunt, Behavioral Health Consulting; Dr. Mardelle Shepley, Faculty Cornell University; and Mary Therese, VA Hospital Planetree Director; Healthcare Design Conference, Houston, Texas. 
  • Through the Patient’s Eyes: A Design Innovation Session” (February 2016) –  ACE Summit and Reverse Expo, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Faculty and speaker at Patient-Centered Design Innovation Summit – “Health Environment Planning” (Fall 2015) – Discuss multidisciplinary needs in health environment planning strategies for collaboration between design disciplines, Education Summit, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Evidence Based Design – “How and Where Learning Happens” (Fall 2012) – Architect Research Expertise – Speaker and Panelist at DeKalb hosted Education Symposium Birmingham, Alabama
  • Lean Healthcare 101 – “Lean Healthcare Design” (Spring 2012) – Does process management methodologies that work in other industries have an impact in a healthcare environment? – Healthcare Summit Birmingham, Alabama
  • The Healthcare Architect – “Shaping Healthcare Delivery through Research, Practice and Facility Management” (Fall 2012) – Healthcare Summit Birmingham, Alabama
  • Disaster Assessment Team: Lessons Learned from Tuscaloosa 2011 Safety Assessment (2011) – for AIA / ABC Joint Alabama Conference;
  • The Healthcare Architect: Shaping Healthcare Delivery through Research, Practice and Facility Management (Fall 2011) – AIA Georgia Conference
  • Designing Planetree Patient-Centered Environments for People, Process and Prototype – “How a Holistic Healing Community Became Realty” for Griffin Hospital and Cancer Center(2010) speaking at Arizona State University’s College of Design “Exposed” 2010 symposium and authored work session content for HFI 2010 annual conference; 
  • “The Silver Lining – How Current changes in the Design Profession can lead to Greater Value for Institutions and Owners (2009)– Discussion of how Outcomes Driven Programming can lead to enhanced project outcomes, speaking at the Department of Defense Health Facilities Institute (HFI) Annual Conference;
  • State-of-the-Art Inpatient Care for the 21st Century” (2009)- Discussion about Inpatient Nursing Units and Patient Room Current Research and Design Trends, guest speaker at Onslow Memorial Hospital Senior Leadership and Onslow County Board Members Fall Retreat;
  • “Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Changing Practice, Research s and Current Trends(2006) P+W Engaging Excellence AIA accredited work session and UAB Women & Neonatal Service Groups; and
  • “SLAM University & Healthcare 101” (2009 & 2010) sessions held for the Design Studio Staff in the Atlanta office.


Company Profile



Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC was founded in November of 2007 with the primary objective of assisting psychiatric hospitals, behavioral health facilities and other organizations providing treatment for the mentally ill with developing safe, healing therapeutic environments for their patients and clients.  Careful consideration is given to staff safety and providing a workplace where they will feel safe and will result in assisting with recruitment and retention of high quality personnel.  Additionally, the organization is committed to increasing the awareness of facilities and designers regarding the current design trends and latest products that have been developed which are safer to use in these environments.

BHFC’s founder and President is James M. Hunt, is a licensed architect with over 40 years of experience including 30 years of working with behavioral health care facilities.  Twenty of those years (1981-2001) were as the Director of Facilities Management for the Menninger Clinic, a world renowned private mental health organization.  This provided him the unique opportunity to understand the day-to-day operation and management of these facilities.  It also allows him to assure that communication between the organization’s clinical, facility and administrative staff and the design team is fully understood and helps provide a finished project that is an accurate reflection of the facility’s requirements.


Kimberly McMurray, AIA, EDAC, MBA is Vice President of BHFC.  Together, they have participated in the design and construction of 35 behavioral health care facilities in 20 states plus three projects in British Columbia, Canada.  These projects have a combined total of over 2,000 patient beds and a total construction cost of over $700 million.  In addition to these construction projects, 57 facilities in 25 states have been visited and Patient and Staff Safety Reviews conducted to identify potential hazards in existing units and to provide assistance with resolving these issues with cost effective solutions that both increase safety and reduce the institutional appearance of the patients’ environment.

This extensive experience has provided the opportunity to see things done well many different ways and things done poorly many different ways.  BHFC will not bring a one-size-fits-all solution to this project.  Numerous items and conditions will be identified as issues to be explored.  Then several solutions will be presented to each situation along with the strengths and weaknesses of each solution so the Client can make informed decisions.  Every project is unique and the completed facility will reflect the specific requirements and features necessary for the patient populations served and the organization’s needs.

The company objective to increase the awareness of facilities and designers regarding the current design trends and latest products had been addressed by publishing white papers in peer reviewed journals, writing articles in trade magazines, speaking at international, national and state behavioral health care conferences.  Mr. Hunt also is the co-author of the “Behavioral Health Design Guide that has been continuously published on-line since 2003 19 times, the latest in February of 2018.  It is now available free of charge at www.bhfcllc.com.  In addition, numerous manufacturers seek their advice on how to improve products for this market.  No compensation is ever accepted for these consultations, any products listed in the Design Guide or recommended to clients.

Mr. Hunt was invited to participate in an Expert Panel assembled by The Joint Commission and CMS to address ligature attachment risk issues that have been major issues throughout 2017 and this emphasis and participation will continue in 2018.

BHFC remains committed to improving the built environment for mentally ill patients and the staff that assist them as well as striving to expand the knowledge of how to design buildings and develop products that will enhance the experience for all who come in contact with these facilities.  We continually strive to live up to the words of Swedish architect Stefan Lundin in his book Architecture as Medicine,

“OK, so you’re ill and may not always be on your best behaviour, but help and sympathy are forthcoming from those of us who, for the moment at least, are better off.”

BHFC is always ready to help you discover the answers that are best for you, your patients, and your organization.