Georgian reveals major healthcare renovation and revolutionary technology

Georgian College has transformed 15,000 square feet of space, including a brand new, state-of-the-art simulation environment that is the only one of its kind in Ontario higher education.

Government and generous donor funding has helped make this nearly $3-million investment in world-class technology possible in Georgian’s Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences, further strengthening the college’s reputation of offering an unrivaled student experience.

“These renovations demonstrate how Georgian is advancing innovation in a big way, from the design of our immersive, interdisciplinary spaces to the cutting-edge equipment our students will be learning on” says Kevin Weaver, President and CEO, Georgian College.

“This transformation has truly been a community effort between Team Georgian and our supporters, and we are grateful to the generous donors who have invested in our students and the next generation of health-care professionals. This new space and technology will help our programs meet the complex needs of our local communities.”

Six people stand together next to a hospital bed with a patient simulator lying in it, inside a room with projections of the inside of a hospital room on the walls.
From left: Pictured with patient simulator HAL S5301 is Treva Job, Manager, Simulation Centre, Georgian College; Lexi Brand, major donor and Director, Brand Family Foundation; Sybil Taylor, co-chair of the Frontline Support: Health-care Heroes Closer to Home campaign; Kevin Weaver, President and CEO, Georgian College; Vibhu Vibhu, student in the Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing program; and Chris Gariepy, co-chair of the Frontline Support: Health-care Heroes Closer to Home campaign.

Health, Wellness and Sciences students are already using the facilities including the new immersive simulation space, named in honour of the Brand Family Foundation that provided a significant gift to the project.

Now known as the Brand Family 360° – Interdisciplinary Simulation Space, all surfaces in this space respond to touch, and the sounds, smells, and props in the simulation provide a powerful learning experience. The room is equipped with 360-degree cameras to enable the customization of virtual-reality spaces without the use of a headset, thereby placing participants in their exact working environment so when they start a field placement or career in a health-care setting, they’re more prepared.

“Health-care workers are vital. This contribution will enable Georgian College to continue its outstanding work and further its impact on the education sector and local community,” says Lexi Brand, Director, Brand Family Foundation. “We recognize the college’s pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare by empowering students and driving positive change in our communities.”

Georgian now home to world’s most advanced interdisciplinary patient simulator

Health, Wellness and Sciences students can also access more than 10 renovated labs and learning spaces, all inside the Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes Nursing and Wellness Wing, and HAL S5301, the world’s most advanced interdisciplinary patient simulator.

HAL S5301 is wireless, programmable and runs on a rechargeable battery. It is proportional in size to an adult male, with lifelike skin features, moveable joints and anatomically accurate components, and it can produce pre-recorded speech phrases in any language.

The patient simulator has a long list of capabilities, which also includes blinking, lifelike breathing and bilateral palpable pulses, and it can even have blood drawn, fingerstick glucose testing done, and offer trauma scenarios like abdominal wounds and limb amputation. Students can access this technology as part of their hands-on learning experiences that will help them prepare for the workforce, as all the equipment in the learning spaces matches what is used in local hospitals.

Renovated labs receive significant upgrades in equipment

The renovation project also created a high-fidelity simulation suite, obstetrics lab, a community learning suite named in honour of the Rotary Club of Barrie, pediatric lab named in honour of Deb DeCaire (Skipwith), Steve Blanchet and families, and a series of flex labs, all of which have received significant new upgrades in equipment and layout.

Currently, the renovated space is being used by students, faculty and staff in Georgian’s Health, Wellness and Sciences programs, but access to the labs and technology will be expanded to other academic areas for collaborative learning.

Vibhu Vibhu, a student in the Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing program, is excited to start using the technology in the new space.

It’s a safe learning space where we can actually do things like hear the patient simulators’ heartbeats, do our assessments and see whether we’re doing it accurately by checking with the machines. This will give nursing students confidence in going into their clinicals and when we start working as nurses.

– Vibhu Vibhu, Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing student

The entire planning process and transformative renovation, including the Brand Family 360° – Interdisciplinary Simulation Space, is another example of how community leaders have helped shape the success of the Frontline Support: Health-care Heroes Closer to Home campaign. Georgian is grateful for the leadership of campaign co-chairs Chris Gariepy and Sybil Taylor and the members of the advisory group they led.

Thank you to our more than 40 donors for helping Georgian make this transformation at the Barrie Campus happen in support of an unrivaled student experience. Some significant community donors include:

  • Brand Family Foundation,
  • D.V. Bell Foundation,
  • Deb DeCaire (Skipwith) and Steve Blanchet and families,
  • Jane (Brown) Jackson,
  • Larche Family Foundation,
  • belairdirect, and
  • Rotary Club of Barrie.

In 2021, Georgian launched its Frontline Support: Health-care Heroes Closer to Home campaign seeking to raise funds to renew facilities and equipment and create new awards, scholarships and bursaries, at both the Barrie and Owen Sound campuses. The campaign has raised close to $6M to support health-care education innovation and student success.

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