County of Simcoe Councillors and Georgian students and staff celebrated a milestone on Feb. 6, when Warden Gerry Marshall presented Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes with the final pledge payment in the County’s $2-million commitment to the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences.
A portion of the $500,000 cheque also included the County’s first pledge payment supporting its $5-million commitment to the Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre, opening in fall 2018.
“Georgian College is one of our greatest community assets, and we are extremely pleased to continue to invest in building local postsecondary education capacity for our residents,” says Warden Gerry Marshall. “From healthcare, to manufacturing to skilled trades, these are strategic programs that meet the needs of our regional labour market and ultimately fuels the engine that drives our growing economy.”
Students, faculty and staff were eager to show Councillors around the Sadlon Centre and speak about new programs and equipment that have been added since the building opened in 2011. Acupuncture students who are also part of the Georgian College Tai Chi team demonstrated a routine practice called “Moving Meditation, QiGong.” They taught the group crane form and bear form, which exercise the kidney and digestive functions.
Councillors also saw an Electroencephalography (EEG) demonstration from the new Biotechnology – Health program and visited the paramedic lab.
West-Moynes says many county residents, including county employees in paramedic and long term care services, receive training in this facility. In 2016-17, 43 per cent of students who studied at Georgian had a Simcoe County address at the time of application. Of those students who graduated in 2016-17, 56 per cent have an address in Simcoe County.
“Georgian and the County of Simcoe have a strong, special partnership that has long benefitted students, employers and our communities,” says West-Moynes. “We are so grateful for County Council’s ongoing commitment.”
Paramedic student Diana Buchsbaum told Councillors she is excited to see future links between health care programs and the Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre. Buchsbaum has a Master of Science degree, specializing in cardiovascular physiology. When she began her studies at Georgian, her top college pick, she was thrilled to find a connection through one of her professors to undertake new research. She noted that her research is based in Toronto, but she is hopeful there will be more research opportunities locally for future students.
“Health and research are co-dependent. A new, high-end research facility will be a game changer for Georgian and the region,” says Buchsbaum.
West-Moynes says the future is bright thanks to the skills and talents of students and faculty, and partners who help the college work toward sustainable solutions.
“We can only imagine what innovation will come in the future from our students and community researchers to enhance the incredible strides our society has made in health and well-being,” she says.
With this announcement, the County of Simcoe’s total investment in Georgian College to date is $4.2 million. Another major project the County invested in was the John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus located in Collingwood.