ALBEMARLE, NC (WBTV) - Pfeiffer University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for the Pfeiffer University Center for Health Sciences which will be home to the new Physicians Assistant Studies and Occupational Therapy programs.
The ceremony will take place at 245 E. Main Street in Albemarle, North Carolina. There will be a reception to follow the ceremony at the Roger Martin Gallery located at 260 East Main Street in Albemarle directly across the street from the groundbreaking location.
Construction will begin in January 2019 with a completion timeline of May 2020. Working with architectural firm Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Stokes Construction was selected as the contractor through a public bid process required by the USDA. The all-in cost of the project to include furnishings and equipment is $16 million.
The Pfeiffer University Center for Health Sciences will feature the Center for Advanced Clinical Simulation Education (CACSE). The CACSE will include four simulated ICU rooms, one Surgical Suite and one Emergency Department Trauma Bay; each of these rooms will be equipped with high fidelity, computerized human simulators. Additionally, the CACSE will feature a fully functional clinic with six exam rooms, where physician assistant students will interact with standardized patients. Graduate clinical simulation education at Pfeiffer University will bring life into books and books into life, hence bridging classroom instruction and clinical practice.
The mission of the Pfeiffer University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is to educate servant leaders from diverse backgrounds as physician assistants who will provide exceptional healthcare in an inter-professional setting serving rural medically underserved populations through community involvement, public health policy, and advocacy. Twenty four new students are anticipated to begin the Physicians Assistant Studies program in January of 2020. The program will start on the Misenheimer campus and will move into its Albemarle location when Pfeiffer University acquires the occupancy permit. Thirty-six new students are anticipated to begin in 2021 and forty-five new students to follow annually in 2022.
The Physicians Assistant Studies program and the Occupational Therapy program will bring approximately two hundred graduate students a year to downtown Albemarle. Plans to offer a doctoral level Occupational Therapy program in Albemarle are also in the planning phase.