History of Stance Healthcare


In the world of healthcare, where functionality meets aesthetics, Stance Healthcare stands out as a beacon of innovation and design. The roots of this remarkable company trace back to the vision of CEO Carl Kennedy and a commitment to creating healthcare furniture that goes beyond mere utility. Let’s take a journey through time to explore the history of Stance; a journey marked by dedication, evolution, and a deep understanding of the healing environment. 


Inception of Stance:

Founded in 2006 with a clear mission, Stance aimed to transform healthcare furniture. With an initial focus on the Canadian market, the company set out to create dynamic products that were not only over-engineered for extreme durability, but also prioritized ease-of-cleaning, thus addressing a further crucial need in the healthcare sector. 


Stance Healthcare’s impressive journey through time is defined by significant milestones that underscore its dedication to excellence and quality. Showcasing designs of exceptional quality that have set new standards for the industry, the initial product lineup manifested this commitment. Many of these original products — Accent, Oasis, Physicians stools, and Kindred — have endured and remain a core part of the company’s portfolio. Through forging authentic personal relationships with designers and supply partners, Stance established a groundwork of effective collaboration that would influence the company’s future. 


A Family Affair: 

Carl Kennedy’s father, with a background in owning Castle and Cooper – a company that supplied replaceable medical components, such as casters for overbed tables – played a pivotal role in Stance’s beginnings. While Castle and Cooper, with new owners, still exists, it ultimately set the stage for the inception of Stance Healthcare, showcasing a lineage of dedication to the healthcare industry. 


Design With a Purpose: 

Stance’s journey took a significant step forward as they began prioritizing product aesthetics in addition to the original emphasis on durability and cleanability. This commitment to blending high-quality engineering with high-quality design is something that continues to set Stance apart. As a testimony to this, in 2017, the company received the prestigious Nightingale Gold Award for the Resilia Drum Table, a product offering style, warmth and rugged durability in Behavioral Health facilities.


The accolades continued in 2018, with Stance being awarded the best large booth space at NeoCon, a recognition that highlighted the company’s dedication to impactful design. This achievement was particularly notable as the large booth space was a collaboration with Suzanne Fawley, the designer of the award-winning Resilia Drum Table. The year 2019 brought another Nightingale Gold Award, this time for the innovative Frontier Bedroom Collection, also designed by Suzanne Fawley, for Behavioral Health environments. 


As the journey progressed into 2023, Stance continued to receive accolades, including both the Nightingale Innovation Award and the Gold Award for the Lotus Bedroom Collection – a standout in the Furniture Collections category. Additionally, the Podium Seating Collection earned the Nightingale Silver Award, a further testament to Stance’s position at the forefront of healthcare furniture innovation. 


The realization of the profound impact that design and aesthetics could have on the healing journey marked a paradigm shift for Stance. Early on, Stance recognized the pivotal role that the environment plays in patient care and outcomes, leading to the establishment of our mission, “Improving Lives by Design.” Every product we design supports this commitment, creating warm, supportive, inspiring, and dignifying spaces that motivate caregivers and reassure patients of the best possible care. Our award-winning furniture collections, acknowledged with the Nightingale Gold Award, stand as proof of our dedication to building caregiver morale and supporting healing environments. In 2021, Stance underwent a significant rebrand, unveiling a new logo and reaffirming our mission, with core values guiding our approach to design and teamwork. Our journey is shaped by values such as attention to detail, teamwork over ego, pursuit of excellence, positive energy, and a “simply get it done” mentality. This rebrand emphasized our commitment to “Improving Lives by Design,” positioning Stance as the antithesis of the traditional sterility of the doctor’s office, offering warmth and comfort to both patients and healthcare professionals. 


Expanding Horizons: 

The year 2012 saw a pivotal move to the 20,000 sq. ft. space followed by a significant expansion in 2016 to Goodrich Drive, a sprawling 43,000 sq. ft. facility. Recognized as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies in the same year, Stance continued to ascend in the industry. In 2020, Stance acquired Stratford, Ontario based Progressive Woodworking, enabling Stance to gain full control of their extensive case goods production in a 20,000 sq. ft. space.


As Stance gained early recognition for its innovative approach, the company ventured into the American market, where the exponential growth in healthcare systems presented both challenges and opportunities. To strengthen its foothold in the American market, Stance strategically set up offices and showrooms in key cities such as Charlotte and Chicago. These showrooms and offices have allowed Stance to become accessible to healthcare providers, designers, and decision-makers. The expansion into these key cities further solidifies Stance’s commitment to understanding and meeting the evolving needs of the American healthcare market. 


Pioneering Adaptability:

In a transformative moment a decade ago, Stance entered the behavioral health sector in 2013. The introduction was parked by a keen-eyed designer who saw an opportunity to tailor them for the unique needs of behavioral health environments. Recognizing the importance of safety and security in such settings, the request led to a comprehensive customization effort. This involved incorporating features like tamper-resistant fasteners, additional weight for stability, concealed upholstery staples, and strategically closing off areas that could pose potential concealment risks. 


Adapting to Change: 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the healthcare industry, but it also accelerated growth for Stance. The demand for healthcare and behavioral health solutions surged, underscoring the importance of comfortable and adaptable environments. Stance responded by elevating its designs, incorporating modern customizable features that aligned with the evolving needs of healthcare facilities. 


Adding On: 

The journey continued in 2023 with the acquisition of Plural Studios, marking a strategic move for Stance. This acquisition signals the company’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve, integrating cutting-edge design elements into its portfolio. 


As Stance looks to the future, its history serves as a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful design in healthcare environments. The company’s commitment to quality, innovation, and the well-being of patients and caregivers positions Stance as a leader in creating spaces that foster healing, comfort, and care. 



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