UW Breaks Ground on Interprofessional Training Facility

Dentistry Today
Dennis Wise/University of Washington


Dennis Wise/University of Washington

University of Washington (UW) School of Dentistry dean Gary Chiodo, DMD, joined his fellow UW Health Sciences deans and Washington state legislators on August 27 for the official groundbreaking for the new Health Sciences Education Building on the southern edge of the UW campus.

Standing four stories tall, the new $100 million, 100,000-square-foot facility will house classrooms for training in integrated patient care. The state is funding $70 million of the cost, and the Health Sciences schools are responsible for the remainder. The dental school’s share will be $5 million.

The university hopes to raise a substantial part of the $30 million it needs through private gifts, with the inducement of naming opportunities. The building, on Pacific Street just west of the Health Sciences Center, will be completed by May 2022.

“This new facility will enable our students across the full range of health sciences to work in a setting that better mirrors the way they’ll be engaging in patient care as professionals,” said UW president Ana Mari Cauce.

“This will result in better care for the patients they serve, because we’ve seen the benefits that come from coordinating various health disciplines, rather than keeping them siloed,” said Cauce.

“I am proud to have worked with my legislative colleagues to support this project with nearly $70 million in state capital funds,” said Senator David Frockt. “Ensuring that UW Health Sciences students have access to state of the art interdisciplinary training facilities is critical to our state’s healthcare workforce pipeline.”

The facility will include flexible spaces that allow for 21st century teaching techniques, including high-tech learning facilities used for computer simulation, mock treatment labs, and an ultra-modern anatomy lab suite with virtual anatomy capabilities, UW said.

Also, the facility will enable robust learning access for students and professionals in UW Medicine’s Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho regional education program, UW said. The health sciences deans envision a building where students can immediately share ideas, images, and projects in classrooms and in their working teams as well, UW said.

The finished building also will have a library extension integrated into the main classroom floor to help students immediately engage evidence in their learning, gain skills in navigating resources, and benefit from coaching about how to use library tools and resources and in their project work, UW said.

Fifty years ago, the average person was under the care of three healthcare professionals, UW said. Now, the average healthy person relies on 16 professionals for their overall healthcare. Consequently, UW said, integrated patient care is increasingly necessary for the future of health sciences.

The building will be a hub that fosters interaction, collaboration, and cutting-edge learning necessary for recruiting and retaining talented students and faculty, which is critical to maintaining the UW’s top-ranked programs, UW said.

“The Health Sciences Education Building is a state of the art facility that will prepare the next generation of professionals for a more collaborative, more collegial role as part of interprofessional teams to address today’s healthcare needs,” said School of Nursing executive dean and chair of the Board of Health Sciences Deans Azita Emami.

“From pandemics to health equity, the nation’s first integrated health sciences training facility will provide students with a high-tech learning space to develop solutions to global issues affecting population health,” said Emami.

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