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JJC unveils new health professions center

124,000 square-foot building includes ER simulators, fire truck and ambulance

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 9:58 a.m. CST
Caption
(Photo courtesy of Joliet Junior College)
Nursing students demonstrate iStan in the nursing simulation lab at the grand opening of the new health professions center.

JOLIET -- More than 100 people attended the grand opening of the Joliet Junior College Health Professions Center on Tuesday, March 12 in the new facility on the east side of Main Campus.

The 124,000 square-foot building, which opened for classes in January, now houses the following programs: - Nursing, CNA/LPN/RN - Fire science/EMS - Radiologic Technology - CPR - EKG - Phlebotomy

These programs, previously scattered throughout the college and with limited space and resources, are now consolidated in the new building with the cutting-edge technology needed for real, hands-on experience for their students.

President Daniels said that not only does the building fulfill the college’s role in its district as a vital resource for career preparation, the new space and resources provide essential training space for JJC students in healthcare programs.

“One of the great things about this building is that we finally have dedicated space for conducting simulations,” she said. “For example, in one area, students can experience caring for hurt or sick patients in a simulated ER patient room.

In another area, there is an apparatus floor with an indoor bay big enough for a fire engine, a dispatch room, and classrooms with exhaust systems so students can practice fire behavior experiments safely.”

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Barb DeLaney noted that the completion of the Health Professions Center marked the end of the six major building projects that started with the 2007 Master Plan.

“Through various funding strategies, we have successfully constructed top-of-the-line learning environments,” she said. “With this project, we owe a debt of gratitude to the taxpayers in our college district. Because of their overwhelming support for our 2008 referendum, funds from that measure were used to construct this space. This is a much-needed transformation.”

Mary Beth Luna, chair of the nursing, allied health and emergency services department, has been on the Master Plan committee since 2006 and expressed her delight that the building was finally completed.

“We are truly grateful to be teaching and working in this wonderful facility,” she said.

She also thanked the community organizations that contributed funding for essential learning tools now featured in the new facility: Kurtz Ambulance for providing the ambulance, East Joliet Fire Department for providing the fire engine, and the Will County Community Foundation for providing the funding for a Pyxis medication dispenser.

Elected officials in attendance at the event included Joliet Councilwoman Jan Quillman, Joliet City Councilmen Don Fisher and Mike Turk, Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr., JTHS Board Member Don Dickinson, JJC Board Members Barbara DeLaney, Jeff May, Andy Mihelich and Mike O’Connell, and Student Trustee Keith Bryant.

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