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WVU health center moves into new building

March 15, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Students and faculty at the West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center Eastern Division have a place to call home following a move this week into a new education center on the campus at City Hospital in Martinsburg.

The new two-story, 30,000-square-foot center, which features a computer lab, learning center, 180-seat auditorium, meeting rooms and a high-tech classroom that will seat 40 students, will serve as a training facility for third- and fourth-year medical students.

"We're very fortunate to get a new building," said Dr. C.H. Mitch Jacques, dean of the Eastern Division. "We have a facility for the first time in this region that's focused on training health professionals. This is a great day for our students, faculty and staff."

Jacques said the state-of-the-art facility, which was funded largely through a $6 million federal grant obtained with the assistance of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, will help in developing new teaching techniques, and improve interaction and communication among students, residents, faculty and researchers.

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"It's kind of the new building for the 21st century for education," Jacques said.

The center also will include administrative and faculty offices.

A dedication for the new building will be scheduled in the spring.

Designed to lure medical students to the Eastern Panhandle in hopes they will remain in the region as practicing professionals, the community education center offers clinical training to students transferring from other schools. Presently, 25 students are enrolled in the program, which was launched four years ago with just four students, Jacques said.

And the center is wasting no time making itself available to the community, according to Jacques.

A series of six lectures that will be open to the public are slated to be held at the center beginning April 20. The lecture package, which will cost $25, will focus on topics such as menopause, obesity, cancer and hypertension. Lectures also are planned on Alzheimer's disease and viruses, Jacques said.

"One of the things a health center does is to try to bring information to the public," he said.

More information is available by calling the health center at 304-264-9202.

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