Wichita State, University of Kansas propose health sciences education center in Wichita

As community leaders plan for the future economic prosperity of our state, Wichita State University and the University of Kansas schools of Medicine and Pharmacy in Wichita are moving forward with plans to establish a joint WSU/KU Healthcare Sciences Educational Center (HSEC) in Wichita.   

The center — which is a combined effort among Wichita State, WSU Tech, the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, and the KU School of Pharmacy in Wichita — will centralize health care programs from each institution to provide state-of-the-art health care education that would ultimately improve the quality of health and health outcomes for Kansans.   

In addition, this collaboration will strengthen synergies and teamwork and allow for interprofessional learning activities while drawing from a long history of successful academic programs, and a health sciences educational center would greatly contribute to our community.   

“Not only is this new center important to improving the health outcomes for Kansans, any city that’s growing or wants to grow, has this type of facility at its core,” said Dr. Rick Muma, president of Wichita State. “Building an academic hub to educate a proficient and highly skilled medical workforce is critical to increasing health care access and outcomes for everyone in our region.”  

Muma — who is a licensed physician assistant and has been integral in reshaping health profession education at Wichita State — said that bringing together the educational facilities from several institutions into one shared health sciences complex would help WSU meet community needs and demands and provide state-of-the-art care and technology to Kansans.  

The HSEC will also serve to attract and retain talent in the Wichita area, as well as boost the economic success of Kansas.   

“The health care sector has enormous growth potential, and it’s critical to the prosperity of the greater Wichita area as its population grows and diversifies,” Muma said. “As we continually work to meet the needs of Kansas employers and improve the economic vitality of our region, we must offer new opportunities that attract and retain talent to Wichita.”   

Given the current headcount for the four institutions involved in the center, it’s estimated that the HSEC’s combined enrollment should start at more than 2,500 students.   

A generous grant from the Kansas Health Foundation will supplement the universities’ funds to commission services of an architect and other professionals to integrate the vision for the project, affirm space needs, explore ways to create efficiencies, validate site information and location, and create a conceptual plan for pricing the facility.