Health Science Education Complex at UNK

Rendering of Health Science Education Complex at UNK

KEARNEY -- University and community leaders broke ground April 4, 2014, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney for the new Health Science Education Complex.

The project will help reduce the shortage of health professionals in Nebraska by expanding UNMC's programs and making them more accessible to students.

Called a "game-changer" by UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen, the planned $19 million, 50,000-square-foot UNMC-UNK building will be located on the west edge of UNK's campus.

The UNMC School of Allied Health Professions will expand its educational programs for physician assistants, physical therapists, clinical laboratory scientists, radiographers and diagnostic medical sonographers. The UNMC College of Nursing will expand its master's programs for nurse practitioners and its bachelor's in nursing programs.

"We are making history," UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., said. "There are only a very few moments in life when you get to look around yourself and to think about the fact that we're really making history together."

The complex will house a learning and research environment that promotes education in rural primary care and generates scientific discoveries and new knowledge about rural health. Programs will promote high-quality primary care in rural communities by creating academic and community partnerships around rural health problems and opportunities.

Brad Britigan, M.D., dean of the UNMC College of Medicine, said the team-based care taught in the new building will reflect a new approach to education. "This new school, new approach to education is going to put us in the forefront."

Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing, said programs will prepare nurses to fill shortages. "This project belongs to all of you and the surrounding communities in Nebraska."

Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the UNMC School of Allied Health Professions, said the project marks a new era for educating health professionals with a focus on team-based care.

Dr. Gold said the partnership will help address critical issues in health today: access, quality, efficiency and cost. In referring to team-based care, Dr. Gold said, "All of us want and expect extremely high quality health care. It's the human touch that makes a difference. We're making a statement for the community, Kearney and the state that we can do it better."

The complex is scheduled to be completed in June 2015.

Building details:

  • 50,000 square feet
  • Projected additional full-time personnel: 25
  • Total full-time personnel: 46
  • Annual economic impact: $30.5 million (study by UNO Center for Public Affairs Research)
  • Numbers of students in nursing: 172 (includes 48 new/additional students)
  • Numbers of students in allied health professions: 132 (all new/additional)
  • Total students in undergraduate and graduate programs: 304
  • Number of classrooms: Seven
  • Number of laboratories: Five (anatomy, rehabilitation, musculoskeletal, assessment, task training)
  • Number of simulation areas: 14 (four clinical exam rooms, four control rooms, three simulation rooms, changing room, debriefing, energized radiography)

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