Nearly 100 students from the UTHSC’s six colleges helped provide free health initiatives in Memphis. Students collected used cell phones, with proceeds from sales of the phone to support local shelters for battered women, and they provided oral cancer screenings, dental screenings, body mass index measurements, blood pressure and blood sugar readings, ear examinations, health counseling and medication counseling. Students also helped high school students experience simulated patient care interactions and encouraged community members to be part of the Bone Marrow Registry. College of Nursing students handed out sack lunches to homeless in downtown parks. To finish the week, UTHSC honored the philanthropic acts of the students with free food and games on Student Appreciation Day.
Major construction projects are changing the face of the 103-year-old UTHSC campus. A $49 million Translational Science Research Building is set for completion in 2015, obsolete buildings are coming down, and multiple construction and renovation projects worth more than $175 million are in the planning stages or underway. The construction is part of efforts to raise the profile of the university and draw top students, faculty and researchers to Memphis. The state appropriated $4.5 million for demolition projects, and bulldozers began taking down vacant buildings on campus in March. Buildings in the historic quadrangle at the center of campus will be renovated, and the Feurt Pharmacy Research Building will come down to make room for a $24.1 million Multi-Disciplinary Simulation and Health Education Building, where students from all six colleges on campus will train together in cutting-edge simulation settings.
Central Green to Grow On
The developing UT-Baptist Research Park in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center and adjacent to the UTHSC campus now includes the Central Green, a green space tying together the three facilities in operation at the research park. The UTHSC Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, UT College of Pharmacy and TriMetis, a specialized laboratory and research firm, are current park tenants. A new plaque on the green commemorates Baptist’s 2002 donation of four medical office buildings and 1.4 million square feet of land to UTHSC, one of the largest academic gifts ever in the United States. When completed, the UT-Baptist Research Park is expected to add 1.2 million square feet of laboratory, research, education and business development space on its 10-acre campus and produce a $2 billion annual economic impact on Memphis.