As part of the 2020 HCD Virtual event, Healthcare Design hosted the second installment of its Breaking Through conceptual design competition, which encourages innovation by asking participants to solve challenges anticipated in the future delivery of healthcare without the usual restrictions tied to budget, schedule, and codes. Four teams advanced to the final stage of the 2020 competition, which was held during a “Breaking Through Finale” on the third day of HCD Virtual.

In total, 54 teams submitted initial ideas for review by the jury comprised of industry leaders. From there, 18 were selected to move forward to the second round, where ideas were fleshed out in visually rich presentations that covered the challenges identified and solutions proposed in much greater detail. The jury next selected four teams to advance to the final stage, including Farm to Pharm, submitted by HGA; G.I.S.M.O/Revolutionary Design for Sensory Care and Processing, submitted by Perkins Eastman; Fare to Care, submitted by SmithGroup; and Bubbles of Hope, submitted by HDR.

The final concepts were shared during 10-minute video presentations recorded by the participating firms, followed by attendees voting for the winner via live polling, with the HGA team named as the winner and recipient of the $10,000 prize.

HGA’s Farm to Pharm project leverages existing scientific advancement to envision food as medicine to reframe traditional notions of healthcare delivery with distribution centers and seeks to rethink health investment, food production, and distribution to promote whole person health, health access, food equity, and economic opportunity, particularly in struggling rural and urban communities and extreme geographies. The project’s primary focus is the opportunity created by merging precision pharmaceutical treatment with modified and fortified food (such as orange juice fortified with vitamin D).

“One thing that I appreciated about this [winning] project was that they took it from a building to something much broader and captivating,” said juror Sheila Cahnman, president at JumpGarden Consulting.

“Sometimes as a juror, project ideas seem so big it’s hard to determine if they really have resonance and applicability,” said juror Lionel Ohayon, founder and CEO of ICrave. “They did a good job of addressing a complicated set of problems.”

Juror David Allison, director of graduate studies Architecture + Health at Clemson University, praised the project for having the potential to impact to the greatest number of people.

During a virtual discussion after the keynote with the winners, finalists, and HCD Virtual attendees, juror Gary Vance, president of  Vance Consulting, urged all the finalists not to keep their projects on the shelf. “All four teams did an outstanding job and are to be commended,” he said. “Use these presentations in your qualification’s statements to present to clients and share them with leaders in your community—who knows where they may go.”

Additional coverage of the winner and finalists will appear in the December issue of Healthcare Design magazine and on

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