December 15, 2009
PHOENIX – The Arizona Board of Regents has endorsed a $187 million expansion plan for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University.
At its recent meeting in Tucson, the Board approved the plan to build a Health Sciences Education Building and other improvements on the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus that will allow the College of Medicine – Phoenix to train more physicians and strengthen the presence of the UA College of Pharmacy and other health-related colleges at the campus.
“This is an integral step toward creating the state’s next great academic health center,” said William M. Crist, MD, vice president for health affairs at the University of Arizona. “The construction would bring immediate, much-needed jobs to our state and high-paying positions later. We need to expand to meet the health-care needs of Arizona.”
Leading the push for interdisciplinary education, the building will house classrooms, a simulation center and more to help the College of Medicine – Phoenix expand its current class size of 48 students per year to at least 110. It also calls for space for College of Pharmacy students to begin four-year programs in Phoenix. Until now, UA pharmacy students have only been able to complete their third- and fourth-year studies in Phoenix. The education building also allows ASU to bring nearby College of Nursing and Health Innovation students to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus and opens the door for Northern Arizona University to offer allied health courses on the downtown campus, as planned.
The Regents-endorsed plan calls for the construction of the education building and accompanying facilities, as well as improvements to the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative research building on campus.
“This building will bring all manner of health education under one roof,” said Stuart Flynn, MD, dean of the College of Medicine - Phoenix. “It puts Arizona at the forefront of training the next generation of health-care professionals.”
The expansion plan, which has been approved twice by the Arizona Legislature and signed by the governor, still must be reviewed by the Joint Committee on Capital Review before ground can be broken. The committee is scheduled to reconvene after the first of the year.
The 268,000-square-foot building is part of the overall plan to create a major academic health center in downtown Phoenix that includes health education facilities, research, clinical areas and already features the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).