The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center recently announced funding from the Abilene community to construct a new facility at the TTUHSC campus in Abilene.
Hendrick Health System will help construct the new facility, which will attach to the existing pharmacy school building at 1718 Pine St., and then the nursing building will be given to TTUHSC in the form of a donation.
Tim Lancaster, president and CEO of Hendrick Health System, said the new construction project has already received support from the Abilene community, contributing approximately $13 million thus far, which is only $2 million away from the $15 million expected cost.
“We are happy to continue the partnership with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing,” he said. “Our community recognizes that quality health care is contingent upon quality education and training for our future nurses. Our partnership with Texas Tech University has been instrumental in attracting some of the best nursing candidates in the field and hopefully keeping them in Abilene.”
Dr. Tedd Mitchell, TTUHSC president, said the support shown by the Abilene community is outstanding and will contribute to increased educational opportunities for students and improvements in the quality of health care in Texas and the rest of the country.
“This gift from the Abilene community and our continued partnership with Hendrick Health System will ensure the continued availability of outstanding nursing education to students and will enhance the already high quality of health care offered to Abilene residents,” Mitchell said.
The vision and emphasis on educational opportunities by Abilene leaders is what has made the possible construction of a new nursing school facility become a reality, said Pearl Merritt, regional dean of the TTUHSC School of Nursing in Abilene.
“When I came on board March 1, 2010, I was already familiar with the key leaders involved in this project and had worked with them in the past on various projects,” she said. “These Abilene leaders are visionary and proactive in taking the lead to build our new Texas Tech School of Nursing. Abilene is known for its educational opportunities with three private universities and community colleges.”
The new School of Nursing campus building will bring advantageous teaching opportunities for faculty and learning opportunities for students, Merritt said.
“The students and faculty will be able to maximize our fullest potential in a beautiful ‘state-of-the-art’ building,” she said. “Since we will be connected to the pharmacy school, we will have the ‘campus feel,’ and I believe the students will benefit from that environment.”
Enhanced technological capabilities, coupled with a much larger building, will help to breathe new life into the TTUHSC School of Nursing in Abilene, Merritt said.
“We will have enhanced technology service, and the simulation center will be state-of-the-art,” she said. “Our classrooms are very large, and we will be able to host symposiums on our campus. The architectural structure is very eye catching and will stimulate much interest.”
The addition of the $15 million building dedicated to the School of Nursing is important to Abilene as well as TTUHSC, Merritt said.
“Overall, Abilene is a very progressive city with friendly people, and they have warmly welcomed Texas Tech to town,” she said. “The opportunities are here, and we believe Texas Tech University Health Science Center and Abilene will prove to be a great model for others to follow.”