A look inside Samford University’s new College of Health Sciences reveals just one example of the advancements that have been made in health care innovation within Birmingham. The two-building Health Sciences addition now spans 223,000 square feet, adjacent the Samford campus, after undergoing massive renovations from 2015 to 2016 that produced an enhanced learning environment for students to help foster hands-on experience in the medical field.
Approximately 1,200 students from 30 different programs on Samford’s campus use the new College of Health Sciences facilities as a resource. The schools of Health Professionals, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health all call the new buildings home.
One building is comprised of an active learning lab, innovative classrooms, a food science lab, a nutrition research lab and several training rooms. A second building encompasses electro-physiology, exercise physiology, motion analysis, pharmaceutical sciences research, sports medicine and occupational therapy labs, along with several other health resource labs.
Health care is a major component of Birmingham’s diverse economy. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau figures, Birmingham’s Education and Health Services workforce is nearly 71,000 strong, accounting for 14 percent of the region’s workforce population.
“One of the schools within the college of Health and Sciences graduates about 80 nursing students in the cohort twice a year and most of them stay in Birmingham, adding to the medical expertise in the workforce within our city” said Dr. Nena Sanders, Vice Provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences. “We’re an importer of the workforce.”
Samford’s new College of Health Sciences is providing graduates with the opportunity to gain education and training that will help change the future of health care.
Samford students can acquire a master’s degree in nutritional science in the facility. Participants in this program are currently studying the positive role of the herb basil in hypertension and working with the FDA using applied research to help those suffering from the ailment.
The college also offers an experimental simulation center with human-like mannequins that breathe and show vital signs for a hands-on approach to nursing and physical therapy courses, and have plans to open a new audiology department in coming years.
The university held a dedication ceremony on September 9 to officially cut the ribbon on their new facility and highlight the transformation of the former Southern Living magazine headquarters into the College of Health and Sciences that people know today.
Samford University is a staple in the Birmingham community, celebrating 175 years as an educational institution next month.