SPOKANE – While the official opening of WSU Spokane’s new Nursing College Building is scheduled for May 7, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who was instrumental in procuring federal funds for the construction, will be feted at a preview thank-you event at the new building at 2 p.m., Wednesday April 15.

Sen. Murray will join WSU President Elson S. Floyd, WSU Spokane Chancellor Brian Pitcher and Nursing College Dean Patricia Butterfield for a preview walk-through of the building. Nursing students Viktor Rybachuk and Courtney Yant will also join the tour.

A press conference will follow the tour in room 217C of the Nursing College Building. It will feature comments by Murray, Floyd, Pitcher and Butterfield, as well as Elaine Couture, president of Providence Holy Family Hospital and chief operating officer of Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.

“Sen. Murray worked tirelessly in procuring nearly $2.5 million in federal dollars over the past two fiscal years to fund this important structure,” said President Floyd. “We are extremely grateful for her efforts and her support of nursing education, a program of growing importance, both at WSU and around the country.”

Chancellor Pitcher indicated that a number of building costs, including construction, moving costs, medical simulators and technology, were funded by federal dollars.

 “This support recognizes the growing importance of health education, a continuing focus at WSU Spokane, he said. “Not only will this provide new and higher-quality opportunities for more nursing students, but it will also enhance the quality of medical care in the region.”

Dean Butterfield said, “The WSU College of Nursing, headquartered in Spokane, educates more bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses than any other college or university in the state. Thanks to Sen. Murray’s long-standing commitment to improving healthcare, new technologies at WSU will bring the highest quality nursing education to students across the state in both urban and rural settings. Her support is a major step forward in addressing the critical workforce shortage of caring, well-prepared nurses, who are so critical to patient safety. We are grateful for her leadership and vision.”