News / Halifax

New Dalhousie University health building aims to make students 'better care providers'

The new Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) brings together those studying nine areas of health

Medical student Henry Annan practices drawing blood in one of the labs at Dalhousie University's Collaborative Health Education Building on Tuesday.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Medical student Henry Annan practices drawing blood in one of the labs at Dalhousie University's Collaborative Health Education Building on Tuesday.

Madeleine Bohrer believes a new learning facility at Dalhousie University will help students like her become good colleagues in the future.

Bohrer is a second-year medical student and co-president of Dalhousie’s Health Sciences Students’ Association. She was one of several speakers at the grand opening of Dalhousie’s Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) on Tuesday morning.

“I believe this building will increase our inter-professional opportunities and help make us better care providers,” said Bohrer.

The Faculty of Health Professions at Dalhousie includes nine schools, such as occupational therapy, pharmacy and nursing. Students in these disciplines will be working with medical and dentistry students in the CHEB.

“This building is all about working together to go far,” said William Webster, Dalhousie’s dean of health professions. “Inter-professional education occurs when students from two or more professions to learn with, from and about each other.”

Webster said this would improve collaboration between workers as well as quality of care for patients.

Nursing and medical students work together at Dalhousie University's Collaborative Health Education Building on Tuesday.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Nursing and medical students work together at Dalhousie University's Collaborative Health Education Building on Tuesday.

The $38.5 million facility has been in the works for about nine years. It stands five storeys tall and includes a 200-seat classroom, a library, and settings to allow for simulation-based learning.

Dalhousie President Richard Florizone said while the university already has interdisciplinary and simulation-learning opportunities, the CHEB would expand them further.

“We know that as the health care system and care becomes more complicated, it is more and more important for teams to work together,” said Florizone. “If you’re going to address that… you need the right kind of space.”

Florizone stressed that it isn’t just about the building, but also about changing the “culture of care.”

“Now we have the opportunity that our nearly 4,000 medicine, dentistry and health profession students will be able to gather together at different points under one roof,” he said.

As a result, Florizone said, students will understand and respect the role of each profession.

Premier Stephen McNeil was also in attendance, as well as Janet Knox of the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Health Minister Leo Glavine. Following the speeches, McNeil and Florizone unveiled the building’s cornerstone.

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