Central Michigan University will receive $19.5 million to build a new Center for Integrated Health Studies, as approved Wednesday night by state legislators.
Part of the $55 billion state budget, the center will address significant student demand and expand health care expertise and services across the state — especially in rural and medically underserved areas.
The center will allow expansion of CMU's physical therapy, physician assistant, audiology and speech-language pathology programs, which have been at capacity for more than a decade because of space limitations. Graduates of these programs are known for nearly 100 percent first-time pass rates on national certification exams and 100 percent job placement rates, with most of the alumni choosing to remain in Michigan.
The proposed renovation and addition to the Health Professions Building also will fuel collaboration among several CMU colleges to expand or add programs. Opportunities for interdisciplinary programs with the The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions include biomedical engineering with the College of Science and Engineering and health information management with the College of Business Administration.
"This investment in the students of CMU will increase the health and wellness of families and communities across the state," President George E. Ross said. "We thank Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, Rep. Nancy Jenkins and Sen. Darwin Booher, co-chairs of the Joint Capital Outlay Committee, and Al Pscholka, chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Their leadership and commitment to the residents of Michigan is clear once again with the approval of this funding."
The CMU Center for Integrated Health Studies will include about 62,000 square feet of space, cost about $26 million and will be located in Central's health professions corridor. Students in the center will be part of a patient-centered medical home model, which emphasizes the teamwork needed among all health care professionals.
Approved by the Senate and House, the budget awaits the endorsement of Gov. Rick Snyder.
"We thank the legislators and Gov. Snyder, in advance of his signature, for making the tough choices. Education is one of the most critical investments we can make to shore up the economic future and well-being of this state, its residents and businesses," said Kathy Wilbur, CMU vice president of government and external relations.