Gualala Community Clinic

Transforming Region With New Health Campus

Rural communities often face growing, healthcare challenges, from shortage of doctors and caregivers to long travel distances between medical facilities, high poverty rates, and aging populations. The Gualala Community Clinic for Redwood Coast Medical Services (RCMS) addresses these challenges with a state-of-the-art facility that focuses on community engagement, population health, and staff recruitment. With a focus on wellness, the clinic fills service gaps in coastal Mendocino County, California.

In developing the clinic, HGA directed Lean planning studies to streamline operational processes and maximizes resources with less square footage, less material and less energy usage to save cost. Additionally, the design team engaged the community in the planning process to develop a program and design that truly reflects the community itself, builds a sense of ownership, targeted services to ensure community needs are met.

Through community engagement, the planning process focused on core objectives:

  • Envision the clinic as a community landmark that is inspired by place and history.
  • Celebrate health, wellness, preventive care, and education.
  • Foster integrated care via patient-centered medical home model.
  • Address population health, experience-of-care, and per capita cost-of-care.
  • Improve patient throughput, reduce waiting, and enhance patient satisfaction.
  • Integrate technology to support virtual exam rooms and connect with specialists via telemedicine.

The idyllic setting between the Pacific Ocean and the Garcia River Forest is designated a Health Professional Shortage Area and a Rural Frontier Medical Service Area, where the diverse population includes high- and low-income patient groups, young families, and retirees.

The clinic architecturally blends with the rural setting on a 10-acre site. The horizontal massing stretches along the foothills. An undulating roof pattern reflects the undulating mountain range nearby. The durable and resilient fiber cement “skin” resembles wood siding used extensively in the area, and interior finishes recall regional flora, fauna and redwoods in the coastal location. Large windows overlook the forest to one side and ocean to the other.

The 23,000-SF, single-story clinic includes primary and urgent care service with 20 exam rooms, nine urgent care bays, imaging rooms, minor procedure rooms, conference center, and airlift to a nearby hospital for acute care.

The state-of-the-art clinic architecturally belongs to the rural community—an integral part of its fabric and history. Ultimately, the clinic will support recruitment of top physicians and strengthen quality service in this under-served region.


Gualala, California

Building Type

Clinic/Ambulatory Care


23,000 SF

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