Richard L. (Dick) Miller, F.A.I.A., E.D.A.C.
Richard (Dick) Miller earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors from the University of Kansas in 1966. Shortly after his college graduation, he moved to Nashville and has never left. Miller quickly rose through the ranks of the architectural firm Earl Swensson Associates, now known as ESa, specializing in health care design. In 1973, he became president of the firm. At the beginning of 2018, he was elevated to chairman of the board. Under Miller’s leadership, ESa has grown from a small, regional firm with fewer than two dozen employees to a nationally recognized firm with 185 employees. In his 50 years there, Miller has guided ESa to become one of the top-ranking health care designers in the country.
Miller’s passion for health care design and for creating healing environments that support improved patient outcomes, accommodate families and support staff and caregivers is reflected in the medical facilities in which he has had a hand. In the mid-1990s, Centennial Medical Center in Nashville opened as one of the first in the country to introduce a large-scaled atrium providing the healing powers of natural light and soothing elements of the hospitality industry. More recently, Miller guided the design of Resolute Health in New Braunfels, Texas which comfortably integrates outpatient, inpatient and medical office functions on a master-planned wellness community campus that includes healthy dining, fitness and retail options. Miller personally led the design of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Doctors Office Tower at Vanderbilt, which were nationally acclaimed, winning design awards for the unique and whimsical approach that appeals to children.
During his 50 years in the health care design world, Miller has served as a role model and mentor within his firm and in the health care community—on a local and national level. Some of those mentored have grown into leaders within ESa and have gained national recognitions themselves.
In addition to professional accomplishments, Miller is committed to community service. He has long championed the American Heart Association and is a Middle Tennessee Chapter Board member. He co-chaired AHA’s annual Heart Walk from 2005 to 2008. In 2011, he was the recipient of the inaugural Heart of Excellence Award. He is a long-time board member of the Nashville Hospital Hospitality House and has provided pro bono design services for the new HHH corporate office. In 2010, Miller was named as one of the nation’s 25 most influential in health care design by Healthcare Design magazine. That same year, he was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nashville Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes. In 2013, 2014 and 2017, he was named an InCharge Healthcare Leader by Nashville Medical News. He is frequently published in national health care-related publications and is a noted lecturer, addressing the future impact of medical and technological advances on hospital design.