Fairfield University breaks ground on new Center for Nursing and Health Studies
Over 100 students, faculty, staff and friends cheered as shovels — adorned with stethoscopes — bit into the earth to signify the groundbreaking for Fairfield University’s new Center for Nursing and Health Studies on Thursday, April 21.
The ceremonial groundbreaking featured acknowledgements from University president, Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, Lynn Babington and Bill Egan’67, benefactor for the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, which will house inside the new facility. The Egan School’s emotional comfort dog, Dakota, and dozens of current nursing students and faculty were also in attendance.
“This center will allow Fairfield to be at the forefront of the evolution of healthcare — allowing us to form men and women to be servants of others — to ‘help souls,’ whether as nurses, researchers, doctors, managers, or innovators in the health sciences,” said von Arx. “And with the additional space and facilities that we will now have, we will be able to branch out into critical areas where healthcare is most desperately needed.”
The building will house advanced learning environments and equipment, including state-of-the-art clinical settings and workspaces like the anesthesia simulation room, a control room, which allows students to craft simulated experiences and the women’s health, neonatal ICU, and home care room.
Babington addressed the growing demand for healthcare professionals, expecting that as many as 20%, or more, of Fairfield graduates will work in healthcare in areas of providing care, finance, marketing, and research and innovation.
“Persistent health inequities, exponential growth in U.S. healthcare industries, and the national mandate for healthcare reform require substantial changes to the education of healthcare professionals, and indeed of all students,” said Babington.
The facility will also house the Kanarek Center for Palliative & Supportive Nursing Education. Palliative Care is the treatment of individuals who are suffering, or in the final stages of life. The goal of palliative care is to allow individuals and their families to experience enhanced quality of life with support from a multidisciplinary healthcare team.
Also in attendance were Connecticut state senator Tony Hwang (R-28th District), Fairfield’s Director of Community & Economic Development, Mark Barnhart and president of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Beverly Balaz.
Pictured (L-R): David Villanova '17; Jackie Egan; Nursing Dean Meredith Kazer, Ph.D.,APRN, FAAN; Lynn Babington, PhD, University provist and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; University president Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.; Bill Egan ’67; Shauna Dresel '17; Steve Lessing ’76, University Trustee. Photo Credit: Cassidy Kristiansen