VI News Staff 1 year ago

UVI Cuts Ribbon on Medical Simulation Center on St. Croix; Facility Will Help Create and Maintain More Than 500 Jobs, Stimulate Ancillary Growth

Leaders from the University of the Virgin Islands, the U.S. government, the V.I. Legislature and Governor Albert Bryan on Wednesday participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the UVI Medical Simulation Center, a 21,920 square-foot facility located on the St. Croix campus that officials say will provide comprehensive, cutting-edge training for existing physicians, nurses and other medical professionals in the territory and beyond.

The simulation center, along with the Medical Research and Training Center on the Orville E. Kean Campus on St. Thomas, will complete UVI's medical school once UVI can meet accreditation requirements for the latter facility.

Even so, the simulation center will be able to stand on its own and provide a number of services. "The only difference is we won't be able to train students there because the students will not have been admitted into the medical school, and that's the difference," UVI President Dr. David Hall told the Consortium in March. "But we will still be able to do all of the types of training that physicians need, that nurses, EMTs, the military, etc [need]. We can even train our nursing students there; we just will not be able to train the medical students there which is part of [the simulation center's] function until the medical school actually opens."

On Wednesday, leaders spoke of the simulation center's opening as a dream come through after 8 years of ups and downs, setbacks and victories.

"This is a very special day and I am honored and humbled to see the the day arrive," said Mr. Hall during remarks on Wednesday, revealing that the dream of a medical school in the territory was born in 2014.

"The vision is focused on improving the quality of healthcare for the Virgin Islands and stimulating and diversifying the economy of the Virgin Islands," he said.

The simulation center will attract global healthcare organizations, high tech and biomedical firms to the territory as a place to provide training and conduct research, said Dennis Alvord, the deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, which supported the simulation center with $14.1 million. "Critically, the center will help create and retain over 500 jobs," he said.

Governor Albert Bryan, who like governors before him has supported the facility, spoke of ancillary operations that will come as a result of the simulation center, broadening the territory's medical offerings. He also highlighted a nearby project in Estate Lower Love spearheaded by the Research and Technology Park Corporation called the Virgin Islands Tech Village. This facility will utilize 18 acres of land and will consist of 60 units of residential housing, 10,500 square feet of commercial space, a 120 room teaching hotel, a 300-person capacity conference center, and a solar microgrid.

READ MORE: VI CONSORTIUM

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