A new health sciences center currently under construction at Sinclair Community College’s downtown Dayton campus is a result of the needs of the region’s hospitals.

The $31.5 million renovation and update of the existing Building 14 will add nearly 60,000 square feet of space and allow the school to consolidate most of its 41 health sciences degree and certificate programs into one space.

The ability to consolidate most of its health sciences programs under one roof is important because hospitals want health-care workers of the future to be able to work better in a team situations, says Rena Shuchat, Sinclair Community College’s dean of health sciences.

“They want our graduates to be able to understand the roles and responsibilities of other health-care professionals,” says Shuchat. “We need to be able to put them together in lab spaces to know how to train and be educated together.”

This new model of inter-professional education would be difficult under the current physical configuration with health sciences programs scattered across the 65-acre campus in nine separate buildings, says Shuchat. 

“We can’t do that across nine buildings,” she says. “Hence the new building.”

By having most of the health sciences programs in one building students can be trained in a holistic and cohesive way, says Adam Murka, Sinclair Community College’s director of public affairs. “Our nurses will graduate from our program already being used to working with their counterparts,” he says. “So when they get to the hospital setting that will be a much less painful sort of integration for the employer.”

Not only will the new health sciences center allow for the inter-professional education model health-care organizations are seeking, it will also enable Sinclair Community College to produce more health-care graduates, says Madeline J. Iseli, Sinclair Community College’s vice president for advancement

“Clearly health care in the entire southwest region of Ohio is growing quickly,” says Iseli. “And we know we need to produce more health care professionals for the future.”

Sinclair is positioned perfectly to be able to produce more of those health-care professionals because of the school’s affordable tuition. “The No. 1 thing that the institution really provides here is an affordable pathway for health-care education,” says Murka. “There’s going to be huge job demand for these folks.”

Not only will the school be able to help fill the demand for more health-care workers, but the addition and update will also fill more of a demand for the school’s dental services for under- and uninsured patients.

“We’re providing about half a million dollars in dental hygiene care to the community each year with our dental hygiene students treating patients,” says Shuchat. “And we’re going to add five additional chairs in the new building so we will be a 25-chair clinic so we can see even more people,” she says.

The new health sciences center is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017. “Knowing that health care is growing so quickly we just feel a real sense of urgency that we need to get this up and running as quick as possible,” says Iseli.