Triangle Chatter

Charting New Territory with Medical Excellence

PA Students the First to Enjoy Campbell University’s New Medical School Facility

The giant, red-bricked 96,500-square-foot medical school facility looming along U.S. 421 near Lillington welcomes Campbell University’s first class of osteopathic medical school students in August.

But those students won’t be the first to have enjoyed the facility’s state-of-the-art offerings.

Campbell StudentsFor a month now, Campbell’s physician assistant students have been breaking in the equipment and warming the seats at the Leon Levine Hall of Medical Science, which features high-tech labs, a floor designed to look and feel like a hospital and an impressive fourth-floor anatomy lab.

The building — located less than half a mile from Campbell’s main campus in Buies Creek — definitely sticks out on a stretch of highway in central Harnett County that otherwise features mostly untouched farmland, trees and the occasional home or small business. For students like Stephen Pacini, a first-year PA students from Colorado, it’s a giant, untouched medical wonderland just waiting to be explored.

Before this, we were in 40-capacity classrooms [in Campbell’s Carrie Rich Hall, located on the main campus] with 40 total students, so it was a little tight,” said Pacini. “We had to travel to WakeMed in Raleigh to work in an ICU setting or to be in the sim labs. But now we have it all here. We’re happy about that.”

His classmates have likened the new facility to a teaching hospital.

Campbell University School of Osteopathic MedicineAnd while the School of Osteopathic Medicine — which will welcome a class of 156 students in less than a month — is brand new, Campbell’s PA program is fairly new as well. The program launched in August 2011 with a class of 34 students, all of whom made it to the Year 2 rotation phase, where they work outside of the classroom in hospitals and clinics throughout the region. This second class will finish out their classroom work in the new facility this summer, then begin their rotations this fall, just in time for Campbell to welcome its third class of PA students.

The PA program is a 27-month adventure, and Campbell’s first class is due to graduate this December.

With the PA students and its first class of medical school students, approximately 200 future physicians and physician assistants will call the new learning facility “home” this fall. That number will jump to about 350 in 2014 when the second class of med school students climb aboard.

Campbell’s goal — with an already established pharmacy school and new physical therapy and nursing programs possibly on the horizon — is for the Levine Hall of Medical Science to become a mecca for interprofessional medicine, where students from different programs will work together toward a common goal of reaching the medically underserved in the Research Triangle Region, statewide and beyond.

“It’s very important that we work together as a team,” said College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Dean and Vice President of Health Programs Dr. Ronald Maddox. “Really, that’s what this building and these programs are all about — helping people. One of the things [Campbell President] Dr. [Jerry] Wallace and I talked about continuously during this process is how Campbell can fulfill its mission of helping others. There’s a huge number of people out there who need our care.”

Founding medical school dean Dr. John Kauffman says now is an unprecedented time to enter the medical field, as experts predict a national shortage of 90,000 physicians by the year 2020. He said Campbell’s interprofessional education approach is part of paradigm shift nationally toward team medicine.

“Together, we can chart new territory,” he said.

Author: Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications, Campbell University

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CUTLINE: Campbell University physician assistant students learn to cast broken bones in a classroom at Campbell’s new 96,500-square-foot medical sciences building, which will also house the school’s first class of osteopathic medical school students this fall.

Photo by Bryan Reagan

 * The Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences impact on economic development in Harnett County and the region is well chronicled. The School Osteopathic Medicine is expected to have a regional economic impact of $300 million and 1,158 new jobs in its first 10 years of operation, according to a recent study. The school comes just months after Harnett County welcomed the new Central Harnett Hospital, which is expected to add more than 500 jobs and a $700 million impact over the next decade. When the Physicians Assistant program Campbell University graduates its first class in December of 2013 it is anticipated this program will add to the grow of providers in the Research Triangle Region especially in rural areas of the region. Access to quality health care is a key factor in economic grow outside of the metropolitan areas of the region. ---William J. Taylor, PharmD, Associate Professor of Clinical Research, Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications, Campbell University

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