A beautiful spring day welcomed almost 600 guests for the ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the official opening of the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Health Education Campus. Entering the building as the sun streamed through the skylight into the courtyard, one could sense the electric excitement with everyone feeling a part of something larger than themselves. Tom Mihaljevic, president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Clinic, perhaps said it best: Future educators will look back and say that a new era of health education had begun, right here on this day.
Not all the signage is up, or all the furniture installed. But much of the building is completed. The first floor has the food service, the large lecture halls, the home of the Pathways, the admissions sections, the winter gardens at both ends, and the magnificent, soaring atrium.
The second floor will house the simulation center, much larger compared to our previous temporary quarters so generously lent by the VA. There are also small group rooms with incredible technology – a library of the future – the new anatomy and augmented/virtual reality areas.
Quiet study areas are located on the third floor. Administrative suites are found on the fourth floor together with the learning communities-- Wearn, Satcher, Blackwell-McKinley, Geiger, Robbins, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, and the Hudson society for our physician assistant students. Students will find the learning communities complete with kitchen facilities, lockers, game areas enclosed in glass walls to contain the noise, and comfy furniture. It is all spacious and filled with light.
The building belongs to the students – a glorious reaffirmation of the value we place on education and on communication with the other professions which is the foundation of our efforts in promoting inter-professional education. The technology concentrated in the building is further testimony to our ongoing commitment to the future.
The ribbon cutting ceremony, however, belonged to the donors, who made the building possible. Their $275M of philanthropic support helped make possible the dream of top-notch health professions education located in Cleveland, right here at Case Western Reserve University. There have been so many who have contributed to making the Health Education Campus a reality. We are incredibly grateful to them for their generosity and their vision for the future.
The ribbon is cut, the tours done, and now it is up to us. Will we fulfill the promise of this glorious space and define the health education curricula of the future? Will we set the pace, right here in Cleveland, for the world? We can. We will.