Mille Lacs Band District 1 Health Clinic - 7gen

Mille Lacs Band District 1 Health Clinic


Indigenous Healthcare


Onamia, Minnesota


Architectural and Engineering Design Services

Understanding how patients access healthcare was critical, resulting in an experience that can integrate multiple clinical appointments.

Patient-centered design is at the core of The Mille Lacs Band District 1 Health Clinic.  With its users often having long travel distances, the facility was designed as a ‘one stop shop’ for members of the Mille Lacs Band Community. The 78,000 square foot facility provides full health clinic services including general practice health clinic services, dental operatory, pharmacy, imaging/radiology, lab, physical therapy, behavioral health, public health and family services.

The planning approach carefully considered each department and clinic, seamlessly connecting them. The end function allows the user to schedule multiple appointments in the same time period. A family from out-of-town, who may only be able to make one doctor visit a year, is able to schedule a diverse range of health services all in one location and on the same day.
Biophilic design was used to connect occupants with nature. Natural materials link patients with the natural environment. Additionally, the importance of inland lakes is vital to the Ojibwe in the Minnesota area, and the connection to the wetland on the site was an opportunity to enhance that connection. A large curtain wall allows vast views of the wetland from all waiting areas throughout the clinic.

The building was planned with future expansion in mind. Structural elements and sections of the roof were designed such that adding a new floor above would be easily feasible with minimal rework of the structural steel and roof, and utility lines were carefully organized for horizontal expansion.

The crew on the project.

Michael Hawarny, AIA, LEED AP

Project Architect

Stephanie Sokolowski, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED Green Assoc.

Interior Designer

Steve VandenBussche, AIA, LEED AP

Senior Healthcare Architect | Planner


Project Executive

Scott Winchester, AIA

Project Manager | Tribal Liaison

Eric Phillips, PMP, LEED AP

Project Coordinator

Jordan Strong

Project Technician

Providing a place of healing and restoration.

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