With just two months until the grand opening of Georgian College’s Centre for Health and Wellness, two significant supporters of the project visited Georgian on Wednesday to see the progress on the new facility.
The City of Barrie and the County of Simcoe have demonstrated their commitment to the future of local health care education by investing in the centre at the Barrie Campus, which will allow Georgian to double its full-time health and wellness student enrolment to 3,000 students and help to alleviate a health care skills shortage.
Students and faculty from the School of Health and Wellness told city and county representatives over breakfast what the new centre will mean to them.
“When I made the decision to go back to school for second career training to become a nurse, my decision was made easier knowing that I had a local solution for my post-secondary goals,” said third-year student Janet Sharp. “It was encouraging to know that Georgian and the community are investing in a modern and leading-edge facility where I will learn the skills to give you and your families the best care possible. Thank you for investing in my future and helping me achieve my dream of becoming a nurse.”
City and county guests heard about the new learning resources that will be available in the centre, such as a paramedic driving simulator, a mock apartment for personal support worker students to practice at-home patient care, several nursing labs including Georgian’s first ever pediatrics lab, and university-calibre science labs, allowing Georgian to expand its health and wellness course offerings.
“Part of delivering long-term care and paramedic services to county residents includes ensuring we have a qualified pool of health care providers to work locally. By investing in Georgian students, we are investing in our future workforce,” said Warden Cal Patterson.
Local residents will also be able to access health care in the centre’s new community-accessible clinics. There will be six clinics, including for the first time at Georgian a Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic to be run by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and a Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic.
“Supporting the Centre for Health and Wellness is a great investment for the City of Barrie. Students will receive more hands-on learning than ever before and more spaces will become available for our residents to receive local health care. This centre is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.
The grand opening for the Centre for Health and Wellness will take place on August 31 at 10:30 a.m. Students will begin classes in the centre in September.
Both the City of Barrie and the County of Simcoe contributed to Georgian’s Power of Education campaign to raise $13.5 million from the community for the new centre. To date, just over $11 million has been raised.