by Gary Leftwich
The University of West Georgia unveiled plans today for a new, state-of-the-art student health center that, when built through a partnership with Tanner Health System, will allow the university to better serve students with no increase in mandatory health fees.
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved construction of the 14,500-square-foot, $4 million facility, which will provide more than twice the usable space as UWG’s current health services building. The number of exam rooms will double from eight to 16 and the building will house a medical lab and pharmacy, as well as wellness and advocacy services.
“We are excited to partner again with Tanner Health System on a project that will improve significantly the facility in which we provide quality care to our students, while keeping the cost of that care affordable,” said UWG President Kyle Marrero. “That’s what makes our strong relationships with community partners so important. In this case, we are able to leverage Tanner’s expertise and lower construction costs while enhancing the overall university experience we provide students.”
Work on the health center - which will be built directly behind UWG’s Honors College on a portion of what is now the Tyus Hall parking lot - will start next month and conclude in January 2019. The building will fit in well with its surroundings based on a low-profile, single-story construction.
“Tanner is a mission-driven, community-focused organization,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “Two elements that you need for a vibrant, growing community are strong educational institutions and quality health care. By partnering with UWG on this project, we’re working toward both. It’s a unique partnership to ensure that the university can continue to provide an accessible, affordable education for the residents of our region while also meeting the health needs of their students, which is directly in line with Tanner’s mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.”
The new student health center is the second major project between UWG and Tanner in recent years. The two organizations also partnered to establish UWG’s Tanner Health System School of Nursing. That partnership created more opportunities for students interested in nursing careers while also helping established nurses at Tanner keeping their training sharp and current with the most recent clinical practice through access to the university’s state-of-the-art nursing labs.
The new facility will provide needed space as the current one, which was built in 1971 to serve 7,000 students, just under half of UWG’s current population of 13,520. In addition, it allows the university to house all health services, now in multiple locations on campus, in one facility. In addition to medical care, the center will offer pharmacy, patient advocacy and health education services.
“The new health center will be a modern, student-friendly facility featuring state-of-the-art equipment, enhancing the care available to our students,” said Angie Bradley, UWG’s director of health services, adding that the facility will support the current student population and accommodate growth. “The additional square footage alone will make the facility more functional, but the efficiencies associated with the design will impact our workflow positively and enable us to keep students healthier and safer by serving their needs more efficiently.”Posted on