WSU News

WSU leaders break ground on biomedical building

Video by Matt Haugen, WSU News
SPOKANE, Wash. – “Partnership” was the word of the day as Washington State University and other college administrators joined state and Spokane community leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Biomedical and Health Sciences Building. The event was held Wednesday afternoon at the Spokane Riverpoint Campus.
 
The building will house the medical education program jointly administered by WSU and the University of Washington. It will also be home to a consolidated WSU College of Pharmacy and other programs in the health sciences.
 
Gov. Chris Gregoire used the word “partnership” to describe the bipartisan support in the 2011 Washington legislature for a $35 million appropriation for the building.
 
“You can’t build something as significant as this is for this region without support from the entire state,” she said after the ceremony. “This has never been about politics. It’s about this region getting the support it needed to move this project along.”
 
WSU President Elson S. Floyd and UW School of Medicine Dean Paul Ramsey also referred to the word “partnership” in describing the collaboration between WSU and the UW to provide medical education in Spokane. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the five-state WWAMI (Washington Wyoming Alaska Montana Idaho) medical education program.
 
Spokane has long provided clinical opportunities for third- and fourth-year medical students, but only in the last three years has it also served as a classroom site for first-year students.
 
“I feel very good about our partnership with WSU here in Spokane,” said Ramsey.
 
The UW medical school is adapting the second-year curriculum so that it can be taught at sites like Spokane. That would allow Spokane to provide a full four years of medical education. That would be a perfect fit for WSU’s health sciences campus in Spokane, said Floyd.
 
“The health sciences are something Spokane will always be remembered for and the contributions that WSU will make in furthering them will be unparalleled,” he said.
 
Dozens of WSU health sciences students attended the groundbreaking celebration. One of them, senior nursing student Trevor McLay, said the building will help the university provide more opportunities for students in different health disciplines to work together.
 
“That will help prepare us better for what’s going to happen as we go out into the workforce,” he said.
 
Media contact:
Doug Nadvornick, Health Sciences Communications, WSU Spokane, 509-358-7540, doug.nadvornick@wsu.edu