The American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA; Chicago) announced the winners of its inaugural student design competition, which charged students to design innovative healthcare facilities that address the challenges faced by rural, medically underserved communities.

Students were encouraged to explore design solutions that promote patient-centered care, utilize sustainable building practices, and integrate seamlessly into the surrounding community.

Emily Drennen Hatch and Ryan VerMulm of Iowa State University won first place for their Tall Pines Medical Center—Hualapai Nation project, which focused on the needs of a rural, indigenous population. The project featured a natural interior aesthetic.

“We were incredibly impressed by the creativity and thoughtfulness of the student submissions,” Ann Adams, president of ACHA, said in a release. “The winning designs demonstrate a deep understanding of the complex issues facing rural healthcare and offer promising solutions for the future.”

The winners will be recognized in July at the AIA/ACHA Summer Leadership Summit.

Additional winners include:

Second place: Veronica Ortega and Miguel Gallegos, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Rocksprings Critical Access Hospital Community-Centric Healthcare project.

Honorable mention: Hamid Akhtarkavan, Iowa State University, The Beating Heart of the Desert project.

For more, visit the ACHA website here.