Tuesday / October 12, 2021 / 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

IDPH 2021 Healthcare Facility Update


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) returns to provide valuable updates on the requirements for healthcare facility project submission, review, inspection, and occupancy. Henry Kowalenko, Chief, Division of Life Safety and Construction, and Dennis Schmitt, Supervisor, Design and Construction, will present the state of IDPH, introduce new IDPH staff, and give an overview of requirements under the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


Henry Kowalenko oversees the construction, alteration and modification of all licensed healthcare facilities within the State of Illinois. He also oversees the Medicare certification program for licensed long-term care facilities, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, hospices, etc. on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois and serves on several NFPA Technical Committees, NFPA 99, 101 & 101A. He has a BArch from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dennis Schmitt graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies. He worked as an architect in Springfield, IL, for two architectural firms and was also the owner of his own firm. His major focus in architecture was health care facility design which included hospitals, long-term care, and ambulatory surgical treatment centers. Dennis joined IDPH in 2012 as an architect for the Champaign regional office. He was a life safety code surveyor on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In 2014, he moved to the Design and Construction section where he conducts federal surveys for CMS, licensed only surveys and reviews drawings for health care facility construction projects.

In 2017, Dennis became the supervisor of the Design and Construction Unit which allows him to work closely with the Life Safety and Construction Division Chief, Henry Kowalenko. Along with his supervisory position, Dennis works closely with providers and healthcare architects to assure code compliance with the department’s licensing requirements and the life safety code. Dennis is a voting member on the following four NFPA committees: NFPA 101, Health Care Occupancies; NFPA 101 Board and Care; NFPA 101A, Alternative Approaches to Life Safety; NFPA 99, Fundamentals.


  • Introductions
  • State of IDPH
  • Introductions of new IDPH staff
  • Q&A – FAQ and your submitted questions
  • “Missed Opportunities”
  • Closing Remarks


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