UNK, UNMC Health Science building grand opening Aug. 20

KEARNEY – Health science education and health care delivery for central and western Nebraska enters a new era on Aug. 20 when doors to the Health Science Education Complex open officially.

A public ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house beginning 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, culminates nearly three years of planning and activity to bring the new $19 million Health Science building to reality on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. All are welcome. Following the 20-minute ceremony, tours and refreshments will be offered until 2:30 p.m.

HSEC Rotator zThe partnership between University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Kearney is itself groundbreaking, chancellors Jeffrey Gold and Douglas Kristensen said.

“The collaboration that has led to the development of Health Science is the biggest change to this campus since our days as Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney,” said Kristensen, UNK Chancellor. “This education complex will become a national model for rural health care delivery and will bolster our reputation by demonstrating that we – UNK and UNMC – can deliver on big dreams and big projects.

“Our celebration on Aug. 20 will launch a new era for UNK, UNMC and Nebraska.”

The programs going into Health Science will fulfill a need for expanded education opportunities for nurses and new opportunities for allied health professions. Those professions include physicians assistant, physical therapist, clinical laboratory scientist, radiographer and diagnostic medical sonographer, in addition to new graduate nursing and expanded undergraduate nursing opportunities at UNMC.

In turn, Nebraskans will have greater access to health care because of increased access to training.

“Those who prepare for their careers within this magnificent Health Science Education Complex will become Nebraskans with enduring, professional jobs who move into our communities and invigorate our economy,” said UNMC Chancellor Gold, who will attend the Thursday event. “And, they will be better prepared for these careers than at any time in our nation’s history.”

The grand opening of the million, 46,000-square-foot education complex marks months of dreaming, planning, coalition-building, fundraising, and fine-tuning of programs and clinical and outreach opportunities that will be offered in this building on UNK’s western-most edge.

Visitors to the building during the grand opening event will have access to tour the high-technology collaborative classrooms, view suites where simulations and examinations take place, see the gross anatomy lab, the “energized lab” (a fully functional digital X-ray suite), physical therapy lab; and see the Anatomage, a digital virtual anatomy table much like a human body-sized iPad.

The public can also meet new UNMC faculty along with students who will be on hand to help guide tours. Many of the faculty and staff, vendors, businesses and others involved in the construction, including RDG Planning & Design and Hausmann Construction, will also be attending to celebrate the building opening. The public will also have first chance to view the classrooms and areas named to honor major donors for facility construction and programming.

Ceremony: 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20
Open House: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20
Where: Health Science Education Complex, UNK west campus, 2402 University Drive
Public: This is a free public event and all are welcome.
Lives stream: Watch online at http://www.youtube.com/user/UNKearney/live

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Writer / Contact: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu

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