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Joan Saba, FAIA, FACHA

Specializing in healthcare architecture and planning, Joan Saba brings more than 25 years of expertise and strategic vision to all types of healthcare projects, with a focus on academic medical centers, pediatric and teaching hospitals. In addition to her leadership within the healthcare practice, she is a licensed architect who is responsible for helping manage the New York office of NBBJ.

Joan’s expertise in translating current and future programmatic and operational needs into effective healing environments is applied to projects of diverse scales. She has developed long-term client relationships with a range of prestigious healthcare organizations and has advised on some of the nation’s most pressing healthcare design issues. Joan is a trusted advisor to boards and senior management teams in developing and implementing strategies and capital planning tailored to specific organizational needs.

She has recently led the healthcare planning and design efforts on the Kimmel Pavilion at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and a new medical center at the American University of Beirut. Her recent work on the Massachusetts General Hospital Lunder Building has won numerous design and industry awards, including a National Healthcare Design Award from the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health.

Recognized as an industry expert and dynamic educator, Joan is frequently asked to lecture and teach on trends and innovations in the planning and design of academic healthcare and pediatric environments. She was recently interviewed by Forbes China and Chinese Business News Weekly on recommendations to improve healthcare in China. Recent speaking engagements include presentations at Stanford Medicine X, The Economist Health Care Forum, the Academy of Architecture for Health, Harvard University Graduate School of Design's Executive Education Program, and the Symposium of Healthcare Design. In 2012, Joan was named as one of Healthcare Design magazine’s HCD 10. She was also a recipient of the AIA / Academy of Architecture for Health’s Presidential Citation Award and was included in Healthcare Design’s list of “Twenty Who Are Making a Difference.”


Mayo Clinic Transform Summit, New Paradigms, Rochester, MN, September 25, 2019

Stanford Medicine X, How Technology Is Revolutionizing the Design of Healthcare Facilities, September 2016

Stanford Medicine X, Human-Centered Design in an Era of Digital Diagnostics, Robotics, and Data, September 2015

Hospital Build & Infrastructure China, Key Tech Trends Influencing Healthcare, May 2015

21st Century Healthcare Summit, Tomorrow's Healthcare Environments Today, May 2015

BOMA Medical Facilities Conference, Creating Better Patient and Employee Experiences, April 2015

Vanderbilt Health Care Conference, The Future of Healthcare Facilities, November 2014

Healthcare Leaders of New York, Building the Hospital of Tomorrow: Rehabilitate, Renovate or Replace, November 2014

The Economist Health Care Forum, The Patient's Journey: The Reimagination of Care, 2013

World Health Design, Congress Facilitator, 2011

Health Facilities Symposium, Process Case Study: Building for the Third Century at Massachusetts General Hospital, September 8-9, 2008

Texas A&M University, Guest Lecturer, Trends in Planning Academic Medical Center Nursing and Procedure Units with Clients, 2007

Healthcare Design Conference, Managing Change with BIM and Flexibility Strategies: an MGH Case Study, November 3-6, 2007

American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) with AIA Academy of Architecture for Health, Flexibility in Surgical and Emergency Departments, March 2004, 2005

Harvard University, Professional Development Program, Faculty, Complexities of Healthcare Planning and Design for Technology-Driven Super Departments: Imaging/Emergency/Surgery, 1999-2003


American College of Healthcare Architects, Board of Regents, Founding Fellow, 1998-2012
American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), Member, 2000-2012
New York Society for Health Planning, Member, 2003-2012
Academy of Architecture for Health, President, 2002; Chair, Program Committee, and Board of Directors, 1999-2003
The Healthcare Assembly, Vice Chair Programs