Plenty of industry associations have spent their time in the past two years lamenting the sad state of affairs in the construction world, but the New York Building Congress didn’t start up its new healthcare committee this year with hand-wringing in mind.

The new panel has already hosted four events with prominent speakers outlining the outlook for the healthcare market and providing a forum for discussing future trends, says Andrew Holwack, vice president at NYBC and the committee’s staff liaison. He says the group hasn’t ventured in the policy arena yet. “We’re serving as a clearinghouse for discussion of big-picture ideas and what’s going on in the market,” he says. “We’re fact-gathering.”

Among the speakers at three events already hosted were Wendy Saunders, deputy secretary for health, Medicaid and oversight for New York Gov. David Paterson, and an upcoming session will have Vicki Match Suna, senior v.p. and dean of the NYU Langone Medical Center, which has a big project itself in the wings.

The committee’s co-chairs are Mary Jane Eastman, principal at Perkins Eastman Architects, and Theresa Bischoff, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater New York. It also has vice-chairs in:

• Jim Crispino, president, Francis Cauffman Architects

• Tom Gormley, v.p., URS Corp.

• Steve Pressler, executive v.p. and COO, STV

• Charles Maggio, senior v.p. and healthcare practice national director, Jones Lang Lasalle

• and NYU’s Match Suna.

“One of the reasons we started it was that this piece of the market appeared to be more active than others in today’s economy,” Pressler says. “And the other was that in the various other committees of the Building Congress, health care didn’t fit. We wanted to look more closely at what was happening in that part of the industry.”