Partner, NBBJ (New York)

Who she is: As partner-in-charge of all complex healthcare projects across the NBBJ network of offices, Saba, a 25-plus-year veteran of healthcare architecture, stays busy guiding and collaborating with varied teams on facilities around the world. She focuses particularly onacademic medical centers, teaching hospitals, and health-science centers. She’s also one of the founding fellows of the American College of Healthcare Architects.

Year in review:  Among the many projects Saba had her hand in is the Lunder Building at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she played an instrumental role in one of 2012’s most high-profile openings. This ambitious building, sited in the middle of a tight urban complex with a good portion of its services below ground, has collected nine design awards, including an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Healthcare Design Award and a Citation of Merit from Healthcare Design’s annual Architectural and Interior Design Showcase.

What’s next: Saba is currently knee-deep in the expansion of NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, while also collaborating with the American University of Beirut on that institution’s first new medical center since the 1970s. She is serving as the chair of the 2013 AIA Healthcare Design Awards jury.


THE HCD 10 (Click any winner's name for more information):

  • 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).