Certificant Profile – Michelle Acosta

Michelle Acosta, AIA, ACHA, EDAC
Sr. Project Manager | Associate
Phoenix, AZ

How has ACHA certification enhanced your career in healthcare architecture and/or design?
In the relatively short amount of time that I’ve been certified, I’ve been recognized by the Encyclopedia Britannica for being a shaper of the future of healthcare.  They specifically identified my ACHA certification as a contributing factor that has placed me at the forefront of architects who design healthcare facilities.

What would you say to anyone interested in the field?
Designing healthcare facilities is incredibly rewarding, as it is a way of contributing a piece of community infrastructure that has such a direct and important influence on society.  Also, being at the table with clinicians and designing their spaces is an ongoing education.  Learning about advances in medicine and new best practices keeps our job fun and exciting.    

What led you to becoming ACHA certified?
One of my very first mentors when I entered the profession was on the committee that wrote the exam.  That early exposure made me aware of the credential, but it would take years until I was qualified and mentally prepared to go through the certification process.  Throughout my career, I used the goal of ACHA certification to advocate for myself to build a diverse portfolio of projects, form relationships with clients, and become a well-rounded healthcare architect. 

What are your thoughts on challenges regarding the future of healthcare and how it might affected you personally or your design practice?
For a period of time, patients will be sicker because of delayed diagnosis and care, and people will be struggling with mental health more than ever. I think technology will play a huge part in bringing care out to the community to keep up with the demand of the pandemic aftermath.  But in-person spaces will also be in high demand, and the needs of facilities may shift as healthcare systems find their equilibrium.  If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that continuing to design for flexibility is key.

About You

Education: B.S.D. Architectural Studies, Arizona State University
I have a two year old son, a husband, two dogs, and a long list of home renovations that keep me busy while working from my living room.  But in a normal world, I also have an interest in wellness and have a certificate in integrative nutrition and health coaching.  Reformer pilates is my favorite weekend activity, aside from spending time with my family.       


  • 2021 – Encyclopedia Britannica Young Shaper of the Future Under 40
  • 2019 – Architizer’s 25 Young Architects to Watch in 2019
  • 2018 – AIA National Young Architect Award Recipient