Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Radford University and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab (VIAL) on Friday, May 22, 2015 at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital (CRCH) in downtown Roanoke. VIAL is located on the eighth floor of the hospital.
The event commemorated the completion of a $2.5 million, year-long collaboration between the three institutions that was notable for its unique private-public partnership.
“Our three academic institutions have a common goal of educating the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop, President of Jefferson College of Health Sciences. “With that common goal in mind, we came together to create this shared space where all of our students can learn with the most innovative and progressive technology available in a cost-efficient manner.”
The finished VIAL space is approximately 8,000 square feet of laboratory, classroom and storage space, including a 2,816 square foot laboratory that accommodates 15 separate stations, which can be used to teach large anatomy laboratory sections of up to 60 students (four students per cadaver) or multiple small sections. The space includes a cadaveric dissection laboratory, a state-of-the-art classroom/briefing room, and a cool-temperature storage facility.
“State-of-the-art laboratories like this one provide the students of all three institutions with unique opportunities to learn,” said Dr. Cynda Johnson, President and Founding Dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “Our students will graduate with one-of-a-kind experiences that will ultimately help them provide superior care to their patients.”
The prime feature of the classroom is an Anatomage table, which will be connected to five large-screen monitors strategically located throughout the room. The classroom monitors can also display images from the laboratory camera and the laboratory digital storage server. Students will be able to connect their laptops or tablets to the monitors to form localized study groups within the classroom. This will allow images of interest at one station to be displayed to all the students in the room simultaneously.
Additional equipment includes all instruments used in dissection. Twenty iPads will be located permanently in the lab to enable required images to be viewed at each station during dissection.
The laboratory is kept cool—60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 degrees at night—so the cadavers can remain in the laboratory. A storage facility, whose temperature is maintained at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, holds an additional 15 cadavers. All cadavers are on wheeled tables for easy transportation between the storage facility and the laboratory, which will help prevent damaging temperature changes.
VIAL supports the three institutions’ individual Interprofessional Education programs, which allow healthcare students to learn to work collaboratively in clinical settings before entering their professions.
“The Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab represents a collaborative advancement in the way Radford University has partnered with other medical education programs to collectively enhance our students’ educational opportunities,” said Radford University President Penelope Kyle. “Achieving together what we likely would not have been able to accomplish as individual institutions, our three institutions have achieved an excellent example of the prudent use of our fiscal resources, while giving the next generation of clinicians and healthcare professionals an excellent, state-of-the-art facility that will help them serve, heal, strengthen and help so many others in our communities.”
Speaking at the ceremony were President Bishop, President Johnson, President Kyle, Carilion Clinic Vice President Steve Arner and Virginia Delegate Joseph Yost.
In addition to VIAL, CRCH is home to Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Radford’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. Student use of the laboratory will begin this summer.
Jefferson College of Health Sciences is a private higher education institution that “prepares, within a scholarly environment, ethical, knowledgeable, competent and caring healthcare professionals.” The College focuses on providing healthcare education and is an affiliate of Carilion Clinic. Jefferson College now provides more than 1,100 students with opportunities to become part of the healthcare profession, serving communities from southwest Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. The school’s graduates are building healthier tomorrows in our region and across the country every day. More information is available at www.jchs.edu.
Radford University is a comprehensive, midsize public university that is student-focused, providing its nearly 10,000 students a diversity of outstanding academic programs. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment, and vibrant student life, Radford University offers many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. More information is available at www.radford.edu.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine joins Virginia Tech’s world-class strength in basic sciences, bioinformatics, and engineering with Carilion Clinic's highly experienced medical staff and rich history in medical education to train the next generation of physician thought leaders. More information is available at www.vtc.vt.edu/.