Good Sam Hospital gives $1 million for UNK health science education

January 14, 2013

KEARNEY -- The University of Nebraska at Kearney received a $1 million leadership gift from Good Samaritan Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives to support building a new $19 million Health Science Education Complex on its campus.

The new complex will provide state-of-the-art facilities that will enable UNK and UNMC to expand enrollment opportunities in the existing nursing division by nearly 50 percent and begin offering professional programs in physical therapy, physician assistant, radiography, diagnostic medical sonography, and clinical laboratory science on the UNK campus.

"We have always valued our relationship with Good Samaritan Hospital, and this gift further strengthens our ties," said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen.

A big step in the process

UNK must raise $3 million in private funds for the new facility to access $15 million appropriated for the project by the Nebraska Legislature within the Building a Healthier Nebraska initiative, a bill sponsored last year by Sen. Galen Hadley and supported by Gov. Dave Heineman.

While the $3 million amount is necessary to access state funds, UNK will raise an additional $1 million to fully fund the $19 million construction project.

What's in store

With approximately 30,000 square feet, initial building plans include:

  • A clinical simulation laboratory;
  • Anatomy and physiology laboratories; and
  • Technology for distance education.

These will all be dedicated to nursing and allied health programs.

The overall initiative

The Building a Healthier Nebraska initiative also involves creating a $370 million Cancer Center Campus in Omaha and a new Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Lincoln. As with UNK's health science education project, these projects also require significant private support to receive the state allocations.

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