Interprofessional education in the health sciences colleges at ETSU is nothing new, but having a designated space for such activities certainly marks a huge next step in the venture.
“We’ve been national leaders in interprofessional education since the early 1990s and felt like if we could have a building where all of our students could come together, we’d be putting a physical symbol on a philosophy we’ve been living for decades,” said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU’s vice president for health affairs and chief operating officer. “We’ve wanted to do this for a long time. We knew if we could have a building for the health sciences center that symbolizes our interprofessional work, that’d be really good.”
That building, as it turns out, was Building 60 on the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus adjacent to ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. The structure, which was used as a warehouse and once housed the VA’s fire brigade, was transformed into a top-of-the-line interprofessional education building that includes four floors of simulation laboratories, research space, classrooms, conference rooms, student study space, a food service area and administrative offices.
The $12-$13 million renovation was initially funded by the colleges of medicine and pharmacy, with the university, as the third partner in the project, paying back its share of the cost over time.
The three remaining health sciences colleges that share the interprofessional space are the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health and the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.
Approximately 75 percent of the structure was dedicated to simulation labs that provide students of all health sciences programs with hands-on training in everything from emergency situations to the basics of inserting an IV. The administrative team for the university’s Interprofessional Education and Research Committee, a group tasked with finding the best ways to develop and foster opportunities for students to learn in an interprofessional setting, was also relocated to Building 60. Now dedicated to Dr. Bishop as Bishop Hall.