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IU South Bend announces Dwyer Healthcare Simulation Center project

Apr 8, 2022

Parkside Hall

Indiana University South Bend will build a state-of-the-art, expanded nursing simulation and health sciences education center, thanks to a lead gift of $5 million from the Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust.

Named the Dwyer Healthcare Simulation Center, the newly renovated space in Parkside Hall will transform the building into high-tech, flexible space for the campus’s radiography program and nursing program.

“We are deeply grateful to the Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust for this generous gift, which will help IU South Bend health sciences students receive cutting edge education and equip our community with professionals ready to meet the future of health care with the highest quality preparation,” Chancellor Susan Elrod said.

The project will provide a new energized lab for radiography students to practice taking real X-rays, a capacity not currently available on campus. The Center will allow faculty to teach more students in one lab, thus expanding program enrollment capacity. In addition, it will provide new space for sonography training, a high demand course of study in the imaging and technology program.For nursing students, this renovation will expand simulation and skills training capacity. The Center will accommodate future growth to meet regional demand for highly trained health care professionals.

Having an energized lab on campus will help build our confidence more quickly and create a safer space to learn and make mistakes, said Carmen Borst, a junior radiography student.

Our current equipment can’t make x-rays, so we work on positioning the patient. With an energized lab, we can use special equipment to be able to see an X-ray with exactness of an actual image and patient situation.

The Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust continues to invest in the success of the Dwyer College of Health Sciences to promote health education and an improved quality of life for those who live in our region, said David Kibbe, president and CEO of Indiana Trust Wealth Management, which serves as trustee of the Dwyer Trust. We are proud that the Dwyer Trust will play a pivotal role in bringing a state-of-the-art simulation center to the IU South Bend campus. A simulation center not only supplements the students’ clinical experience but is also critical to student success and preparedness, as simulation allows the student to practice on patients’ in a safe setting. Since most Dwyer College graduates remain local, the Dwyer Healthcare Simulation Center will, in turn, promote improved healthcare in our region.

“On behalf of Indiana University, I would like to extend our profound gratitude for the generosity of the Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “The Dwyer Health Care Simulation Center will prepare our students for successful health sciences careers while meeting the state and nation’s need for talented healthcare professionals.”

The renovated space will house high tech classrooms and an informal learning area. Support areas will include debrief rooms, control rooms, storage rooms, and office space.

Plans call for the renovation of approximately 20,400 square feet on the first and second floors of Parkside Hall. The cost of this project is estimated at $8.2 million. The architect is Moake Park Group of Fort Wayne, Ind. Design and bid documents will be complete later this year with students expected to be working and learning in the Center by fall 2023.

The Indiana University Board of Trustees officially approved the project at their meeting today.

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