No one ever says, “This whole project was a success because of me. Just me.” At least, no one ever says that to the editors of Healthcare Design, when we talk to architects, planners, owners, and designers about their achievements. There’s always a team that worked together to shape that success, while the industry’s collaborative wisdom on collected and documented best practices plays its part, as well.

In considering Healthcare Design’s Most Influential lists of years’ past, our own team felt it was time to shake things up a bit. There are so many specialties across the field, and each one plays a unique role in developing the built environment to its fullest potential for enhancing patient care. To call out some of those specialties, this past fall we created a list of 10 categories for which readers could nominate individuals (and in one case, a firm) who really rose to the top in 2012.

From those nominations, and from our own short lists, the Healthcare Design editors have culled The HCD 10. There are some subtle differences between The HCD 10 and our previous Most Influential lists: while “influence” is certainly a big part of the winners’ qualifications, we’re also putting a sharper focus on the work done within the previous year. In addition, winners can’t be nominated again for three years—another way to keep the awards fresh and focused on the now. There are plenty of people across the broad spectrum of our industry worthy of recognition, and we look forward to introducing some fresh faces each year.

Congratulations to our inaugural winners, listed below. Click any winner's name to begin reading about each honoree and their accomplishments.

  • Architect: Joan Saba, partner, NBBJ (New York)
  • Association/foundation executive: Tammy Thompson, president and founder, Institute for Patient-Centered Design (Atlanta)
  • Construction/building executive: Andrew Quirk, senior vice president and national director, Healthcare Center of Excellence, Skanska USA Building (Nashville)
  • Researcher: Nicholas Watkins, director of research, HOK (New York)
  • Facility manager: Dennis Monty, director of facilities planning, compliance, and special projects, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston)
  • Interior designer: Jean Hansen, senior professional associate and sustainable interiors manager, HDR Architecture (San Francisco)
  • Owner: Gary Kusnierz, vice president, performance excellence, Ministry Health Care (Menasha, Wis.)
  • Educator: Frank Zilm, Chester Dean lecturer on healthcare design, University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning
  • Rising star (under 40): Natalie Miovski, principal and director of healthcare, EwingCole (Philadelphia)
  • Firm of the year: NBBJ (headquartered in Seattle).