New Health Education Center at Inova Will Help Train CNHS Students

Posted: April 14, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Amy Biderman

A $5 million grant from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation will help fund a new medical education building that will support health professionals in Northern Virginia. The Claude Moore Health Education Center, to be located at Inova Fairfax Hospital, will train physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals. It also will be a community resource for health education.

The state-of-the-art facility will serve as the Northern Virginia Campus of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine. The center will support the education of third- and fourth-year medical students and establish medical residency programs. Using the resources of this center, George Mason and VCU will work closely with Inova Health System to prepare the next generation of health care providers.

The facility will enable Mason’s College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS) to work more closely with Inova to provide real-time education, explains P.J. Maddox, CNHS dean. “This is a great facility for Mason’s faculty to enrich and expand the on-site education of students,” she says. “It creates a seamless environment for Mason students and faculty to take advantage of the hospital learning laboratory, along with immediately available classrooms and technology labs.”

The center will provide nursing students with a high-tech environment, including a surgical simulation laboratory with virtual reality and computer technology for realistic surgical and emergency training. A nursing simulation laboratory will recreate patient interactions through the use of computer-controlled mannequins and other technology. The facilities will build on the training CNHS students now receive at Mason’s clinical simulation lab, which was made possible by a leadership gift from John and Nina Toups.

Maddox notes that the center also will provide resources for Mason’s expanding health service research program. “Along with the next generation of clinical nurses, we also are preparing tomorrow’s health system managers, nurse leaders, and educators,” she says. “Our research and interdisciplinary education will give this next generation of managers and nurses invaluable skills in managing complexity and working together. We commend the Claude Moore Foundation for having the insight to make this resource available.”

Named after a local physician, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation awards grants to enhance educational opportunities for young people. Inova estimates the cost of the new medical center at $10 million, with half coming from the foundation grant and the other half coming from charitable donations. Groundbreaking is expected to begin in early 2004, and the center is slated for completion in June 2005. In addition to Mason, others using the center include Northern Virginia Community College, the University of Virginia, and Marymount University.

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