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Feature Story: These winners powered through the pandemic

The 2021 HREI Insights Awards recipients overcame unique challenges

By John B. Mugford

The 2021 HREI Insights Awards, which recognize excellence in healthcare real estate (HRE) development and executive leadership, were presented Dec. 1 during the GlobeSt Healthcare Real Estate Conference at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz.

After the awards were “presented” virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we at HREI were pleased to once again present the awards in person.

Of course, the pandemic has continued to linger and, in fact, this year’s awards were presented at a time when a new variant of the virus is causing renewed concern. But managing through that sort of unprecedented uncertainty has become business as usual in the healthcare real estate (HRE) space. Many of the projects that were nominated this year were either started or were under construction during the early days of the pandemic in 2020, when the virus was first surging and much of the economy was shut down, meaning everyone involved in the projects needed to overcome extraordinary challenges and obstacles.

As one of our awards judges commented, “The development projects were all full-blown in the thick of COVID. Everyone deserves an award! Kudos.”

As has been the case since the HREI Insights Awards were first presented in 2013, the final judging was done by members of the HREI Editorial Advisory Board, who are asked to consider several criteria in voting on the award winners from a list finalists.

“The number of nominations was down slightly this year,” says HREI’s founder and publisher, Murray W. Wolf, “which comes as no surprise as HRE construction starts were also down in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

“However, all of the nominees in the development project categories as well as in the individual award categories were as impressive as ever. With so many strong companies and executives, it’s appears that the amazingly resilient HRE sector can weather just about any hardship, even a worldwide pandemic.”

The awards were presented to winners in nine different categories for excellence in executive leadership and the development of medical office buildings (MOBs), post-acute and senior living facilities, hospitals, and repurposed/redeveloped projects.

Here’s a look at this year’s award winners:

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