FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Officials at Fairfield University broke ground Thursday on the new Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, a state-of-the-art facility that they say will prepare students for a national mandate for interdisciplinary teamwork in 21st-century healthcare.
The building will house advanced learning environments and equipment, including an anesthesia simulation room, a control room that allows students to craft simulated experiences and the women’s health, neonatal ICU and home care room.
It will also include the Kanarek Center for Palliative & Supportive Nursing Education, where nurses will train for end-of-life care.
“The program leverages and enhances Fairfield’s existing strengths in nursing and the natural sciences, and facilitates innovative links to and collaborations with engineering, business, education and allied professional programs, the social sciences, and the humanities — all in support of advancing knowledge and improving care, as well as promoting healthcare literacy for all,” said Provost Lynn Babington.
Babington, a former dean of the School of Nursing, addressed the growing demand for healthcare professionals, saying she expects that 20 percent or more of Fairfield graduates will work in healthcare providing care, as well as finance, marketing and research and innovation.
“Persistent health inequities, exponential growth in U.S. healthcare industries, and the national mandate for healthcare reform require substantial changes to the education of healthcare professionals, and indeed of all students,” said Babington.
More than 100 students, faculty and local dignitaries attended the groundbreaking, watching as university President Jeffrey P. von Arx and others used shovels adorned with stethoscopes to ceremonially move some soil near the site.
“This center will allow Fairfield to be at the forefront of the evolution of healthcare — allowing us to form men and women to be servants of others — to ‘help souls,’ whether as nurses, researchers, doctors, managers, or innovators in the health sciences,” von Arx said. “And with the additional space and facilities that we will now have, we will be able to branch out into critical areas where healthcare is most desperately needed.”
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