By Michael Barry
Sept. 22 marked another milestone for Sacred Heart University as the College for Health Professions cut the ribbon and officially opened the doors of the Center for Healthcare Education (CHE).
“The opening of the Center for Healthcare Education is a great day for the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Health Professions,” said Dr. Patricia Walker, Dean of Health Professions.
Located 1.3 miles down Park Avenue from Sacred Heart’s main campus, the Center for Healthcare Education will house the classrooms for nursing and health profession majors.
With Big Red on hand, the ribbon-cutting ceremony featured prominent speakers such as university President John Petillo and Dr. Rupendra Paliwal, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Some of the resources available at the new facility for health care students include an audiology suite, motion analysis and human performance labs, and a multipurpose amphitheater.
“It took teams of people within and outside of the university working together over three years to make this day a reality. We are grateful for the opportunity the Center gives us to live out our vision for highly interactive programming, expanded use of simulation, and a collaborative environment for our students,” said Walker.
At a construction cost of $65 million, the CHE is 120,000 square feet and covers 8.7 acres.
The building was designed by SLAM, a national architectural firm based in Glastonbury, Conn. Construction crews broke ground on the new Center for Healthcare Education in June 2015. The Healthcare Education facilities were housed previously in Cambridge and Oakview in Trumbull, Conn.
“Compared to our old facility, the new health care building provides Sacred Heart students with the newest and best technology and equipment that we definitely take to our advantage,” said Liza Peressini, a first year Doctor of Physical Therapy student. “We are all very appreciative of this building and are excited to see how we excel in such a beautiful facility.”
The CHE is now home to the institution’s College of Nursing, which includes 1,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students and 37 full-time faculty members.
The college offers bachelors and masters degree programs as well as a post-master doctoral degree in nursing practice. The facility also houses the College of Health Professions, where students may earn bachelor’s degrees either in Exercise Science and Health Science as well as graduate degrees in Athletic Training and Occupational Therapy.
“The new building is absolutely beautiful and state of the art. It has every piece of technology you could imagine,” said Dr. Eileen Yost, a Clinical Assistant professor at the College of Nursing.
“For the nurse practitioners, we actually have a suite of exam rooms. Occupational therapy has an apartment where they bring actual patients. This building shows the commitment to the students of Sacred Heart and to the community. Opening the building for everyone to see is really exciting,” said Yost.