Western University of Health Sciences Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, and Provost and Chief Operating Officer Ben Cohen, DO, kicked off a tour of the Patient Care Center (PCC) recently with the cutting of a red ribbon in front of an elevator on the center’s first floor.

It was a significant and historic moment for the duo, as they made their way through the state-of-the-art facility that will open in early 2010. The three-story, 80,000-square-foot PCC will provide medical, dental, optometry, podiatry and pharmaceutical services in a convenient, patient-centered health care environment.

"It looks great. It’s a showcase, no doubt about it," said Pumerantz. "The whole building is terrific."

The first floor will house the WesternU Pharmacy and the WesternU Eye Care Center. The second floor is home to the WesternU Medical Center and WesternU Foot & Ankle Center and also the Interprofessional Diagnostic Suites.

"The Interprofessional Suites have been designed with three large rooms that will allow for a patient-centered interprofessional environment where our faculty and student health care providers can collaborate as a team in meeting the patient’s needs. These rooms will also allow for a variety of patient care venues," said Joan Sandell, DMD, Assistant Provost for Strategic Operations and Clinical Services, who led the tour.

"This is very nice, it all looks very nice," said Cohen as he toured the second floor’s Interprofessional Suites. "This area was designed with flexibility in mind, and I can see that we’ve achieved that."

The third floor is home to the WesternU Dental Center and also the shared Central Sterilization and Processing area.

In addition to touring the PCC, the Drs. Pumerantz and Cohen were able to check out the 180,000-square-foot Health Education Center (HEC), which will house faculty, administration, lecture auditoriums, classrooms, small group learning rooms for the Interprofessional Education curriculum, teaching laboratories in dental medicine and optometry, research laboratories, commons areas and conference rooms.

The initial construction of the new buildings gave physical definition to President Pumerantz’s vision to make WesternU a premier and comprehensive academic health science center. As the construction of the HEC and PCC near completion, the dedication of each WesternU employee and student to making this University all that it can and should be is evident, Cohen said.

"Riding in the Patient Care Center’s elevator and seeing this building transformed from a structural frame into these various professional centers clearly demonstrates that WesternU has grown and that the University is fulfilling its vision," said Cohen. "These new buildings have given us a hub that is uniquely WesternU – a hub forged by the humanistic pulse of our students, faculty and staff."

The center will open in early 2010 after students begin their spring semester Jan. 4.