This building represents the first time that
all of our programs have been together in one location, and it will allow us to train
our students to work together and to collaborate so that they don’t just live in the silos
of their disciplines. The lobby is wonderful and I think of it almost
as the living room of the building. This is really a gathering space for us. We have a large auditorium and we also have a really wonderful multi-purpose room. We have a smart apartment which is fully equipped with the newest technology that’s fully set up so that when we’re teaching our students they can learn how best to support elderly folks or folks with disabilities. The technology is revolutionizing. It allows us to have a broader reach. Students are sitting in their classrooms in remote locations and they’re learning side by side with their peers here in Richmond. In Nurse Anesthesia our students are experienced nurses. In their suite are operating rooms that are set up exactly like the hospital’s operating rooms. And in Radiation Sciences we offer education in several different modalities. The VERT sim lab is used to teach students how to deliver radiation therapy. It’s very similar to how you think about pilots learning to fly – they do so in simulators. Physical Therapy is where we’re training students to improve outcomes and provide physical rehabilitation, and using virtual reality to develop interventions. On the fifth floor we have Occupational Therapy. The occupational therapists, they call themselves ‘MacGyver’ of health care. They are really developing personalized, precise objects that support the health and well-being of their patients. And this maker space allows them to be as creative as they want. Clinical Lab Sciences is a fabulous program. Students here are learning to use microscopes, centrifuges, mass spectrometer, to analyze various body fluids and tissues and to help physicians determine the best treatment for patients. VCU has an extraordinary history of training health professionals. This building embodies the commitment that the people of Virginia have made to the importance of these professions. Our college is truly the gateway into the health professions.