A new school year brings a new facility -- the health sciences education union -- that will enhance student life and strengthen the sense of community at Saint Louis University Medical Center. Construction on the project began last year.
|The health sciences education union is a new hub of activity at the Medical Center.|
"The new addition makes Saint Louis University Medical Center an even more vibrant and inviting place," said Philip Alderson, M.D., vice president for medical affairs. "Along with Doisy Research Center, which was dedicated in 2007, the health sciences education union changes the face of the Medical Center."
The health sciences education union serves as the new front door of the Medical Center and bustles with activity. With its glass and steel atrium and adjacent brick clock tower that has become a Saint Louis University architectural hallmark, the education union combines spaces for serious study and informal socialization under one roof.
Formerly an orthopedic rehabilitation center, the education union was refurbished and includes an addition that yields 30,000-square feet of space that primarily is used by medical, nursing, allied health, public health and graduate dental students.
|The health sciences education union features an open, glass atrium.|
"In planning the new building, we asked students what they wanted to see in the education union. From the color scheme to the type of student lounges and request for an ATM, whenever we heard overwhelming consensus, we followed their suggestions," Alderson said.
Two student lounge areas -- one designed for socializing and the other for quiet study -- are on the main floor of the education union. They are close to Peet's Coffee, a café-style restaurant that serves fresh pastries, a salad bar, wraps, soups and sandwiches. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
Also on the main floor is a state-of-the-art, 225-seat auditorium with a 25-panel high definition video screen. The video screen offers lecturers options during educational presentations, allowing them to display a single image or divide the screen in quadrants so they can show multiple images simultaneously. Using the technology, students will be able to participate in video conference lectures from afar. While the education union has WiFi throughout, the large lecture room also has plug-ins for computers, and banks of computers abound throughout the building.
The only academic office in the building is, by design, the interprofessional education (IPE) office. SLU's IPE program is one of the nation's first to create a formal curriculum that teaches health care students on different professional tracts how to work together as a team to provide the best possible patient care.
The second floor -- the original "medical office" part of the building -- has been transformed into a faux patient waiting room, exam rooms and a student computer work station. This clinical facility is the home of the standardized patient simulation program, which allows students to hone their diagnostic and communications skills by treating "patients" who really are actors feigning illnesses. The rooms are equipped with video cameras so students can review their interactions.