27 JULY 2000 • Volume 2 • Number 29
New SoN building “full of light”
The grand opening Tuesday of the University of Kansas School of Nursing building marks the first time in its nearly 100-year history that the school’s faculty, students, researchers and staff have been housed under the same roof. The new 103,000-square-foot building offers nursing, medicine and allied health students the opportunity to learn and practice clinical skills together. Both on-site and distance education students will benefit from state-of-the-art classrooms, a multidisciplinary clinical teaching laboratory and research facilities.
“This is a dream come true for Jayhawk nurses everywhere,” said Karen L. Miller, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean and professor, SoN. “This beautiful building reflects the character of nursing - open, full of light, high tech, welcoming and organized.” Along with Dean Miller, speakers at the celebration included KUMC Executive Vice Chancellor Donald F. Hagen; KU Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway; Kansas Governor Bill Graves and Steve Rose of Sun Publications. Stephanie Moore presented a commemorative American flag and read a brief note of congratulations from her husband, 3rd District congressman Dennis Moore, who was in Washington and unable to attend the event.
Most of the funding of the nearly $14 million project came from private donations. The State of Kansas, through the 1996 Kansas Crumbling Classrooms Act, provided $9.7 million. George Varnes, a ’39 KU pharmacy graduate and retired Eli Lilly and Co. executive, donated $1 million in honor of his mother, Bertha Varnes. In recognition of his gift, the continuing education center on the building’s top floor will be named the Bertha Varnes Conference Center. Although administration and researchers have been in the building for several months, the first students to use the new building will not arrive until late next month.
SoN at a glance
• Location: Northwest corner of campus, between Murphy and Taylor
• Size: Six levels with 103,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities
• Dean: Karen L. Miller, RN, PhD, FAAN
• Number of faculty, students and staff: 450, 74, 51
• Number of students who have graduated since 1906: 5000
• Number of construction personnel who worked on the building: 400
• Buildings demolished to make way for new SoN: 2 (Hinch and Taylor Annex)
• Date demolition began: Sept. 1997
• Date construction began: April 1998
• Cost: Nearly $14 million
• Funded by: Private donations and state funds provided by the Kansas Crumbling Classrooms Act
School of Nursing Q & A with Dr. Hagen
The opening of the new School of Nursing (SoN) building represents a coming together of what Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Donald Hagen calls “the right people, the right plan and the right partners.” He took a few minutes to sit down with In the Center and talk about what the new SoN building means to KUMC.
ITC: The School of Nursing ranks among the top schools nationally. How have you been able to maintain that quality?
Hagen: When I first came here, academic medical centers were at a turning point. New health care economics threatened the old ways of teaching. We assessed the quality of our medical programs, developed new key models and were able to attract the finest leadership, including Dean Miller. She is a builder and a visionary and is one of the few people in the country who is the dean of two schools (Nursing and Allied Health).
ITC: What does the building itself mean to KUMC?
Hagen: The new building is a symbolic signature, in several ways. First, the new building gives the students and faculty a place of their own in a functionally-designed facility that will better coordinate clinical, academic and research endeavors. It shows that the University cares enough to invest in itself. Second, it is the first piece in a 20-year $350 million campus revitalization plan that will dramatically change the look of the campus.
ITC: How does the SoN fit into the Life Sciences Task Force?
Hagen: The Life Sciences Task Force will help local government recruit life science companies to Kansas City. KUMC is a major force in this undertaking. We have already begun world-class initiatives on our own that will bring enormous economic benefit to the state of Kansas. Our leading role in this initiative will help give research efforts a clear vision and attract local investment. The SoN is a leader in nursing research and ranks among the top nursing schools nationally in National Institutes of Health funding for science. With the community supporting our initiatives, we will be even stronger.
Teaching lab reflects health care’s future
A multidisciplinary clinical teaching laboratory is one of the jewels of the School of Nursing building’s forward-looking design. At almost 4,700 square feet, the lab will allow students from various disciplines to learn together and practice their skills in a variety of simulated clinical settings, such as intensive care, home care, emergency room, ambulatory clinic and birthing areas. Next to the lab are 10 exam rooms in which nursing and medical students can interact with patient actors in realistic clinical settings. Students in the lab will work with sophisticated computerized medical information systems.
Front & Center . . .
Declaring the new SoN building officially open are, from left, George A. Gunderson, Jr., administrative officer, Business and Fiscal Affairs, SoN; Rita Clifford, associate dean for student affairs SoN; Karen L. Miller, dean of SoN and Allied Health; and Donald M. Hagen, executive vice chancellor, KUMC.
Three School of Nursing grads gather in the spacious new clinical teaching lab and recall the old days. From left, Mary Bouck, ’69, Bev Freeberg, ’66 and Peg Armstrong, ’55 remember a small lab in the basement of the old building, where they learned how to give injections by poking needles into oranges. “Now look at this fabulous room,” says Bev. “I wish we’d had this!”
From left, Steve Rose, Sun Publications; Karen L. Miller, dean of SoN and Allied Health; Robert E. Hemenway,
KU chancellor; Bill Graves, governor of Kansas; and Stephanie Moore, wife of 3rd District Congressman Dennis Moore, listen to grand opening ceremonies at the new SoN.
The New Red Onion Jazz Babies entertain at the SoN opening celebration.
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Study Subjects Wanted:
Persons age 6-65 with mental retardation and aggression, destructive behavior and/or self-injury wanted for drug study. May also have autism. Ages 6-65 years. No seizures for the past year. Contact
Dr. Jennifer Zarcone, ext. 86473.
Last chance to register
July 28 is the last day to register for the annual Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure.
The 5K (3.1 mile) run/walk is Sunday, August 13 at 7:30 a.m.
Pick up an entry form at the Breast Cancer Prevention Center in 1347 main hospital or see Karen Glynn at
KU MedWest. The entry fee is $20.
Monday, July 31
• Grief Loss Support Group, 3-4 p.m., KU Med Radiation Oncology Conference Room
Tuesday, August 1
• Balance Your Life 5:30-6:30 p.m. KU MedWest Community Room, 7405 Renner Rd.
• Surfin’ the Net for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon, KU Med, Wahl Hall West, G018
• Head and Neck Cancer Support Group 6-7 p.m. KU Med, 5th floor, Room 5003
Wednesday, August 2
• Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., KU Med, Cray Diabetes Center,
• Best Beginnings, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., KU Med, 5th Floor, OB/GYN Dept.
• Anxiety Support Group, 4-5 p.m., KU Med Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic,
• Liver Transplant Support Group, 7-8:30 p.m., KU Med, Delp Cafeteria, Prairie Room
Thursday, August 3
• Burn Patient Family Support Group, 6:30-7:30 p.m., KU Med, Burnett Burn Center
• Breast Cancer Awareness, 7-8 p.m., State Line Family Care, 7611 State Line Rd.
IN THE CENTER
Donald Hagen, MD - Executive Vice Chancellor KUMC
Irene Cumming - CEO and President KU Hospital
Mary King and Toni Wills, Senior Writers
Ann Clemens, Graphic Designer
Laurel Garrett, Associate Editor
In The Center, a weekly employee and student publication
of the University of Kansas and KU Med, is published by the KU Med
Public Relations and Marketing Department. Send story ideas to Mary
King, G114 Hospital, e-mail: <mking>; 8-1298 or Toni Wills,
e-mail: <twills2>; 8-1846.
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