Creating an interdisciplinary health sciences experience

Mary Baldwin University
Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences

Fishersville, Virginia

Mary Baldwin University leadership knew they had a very unique opportunity as they began to design the new Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. The vision for the School is to become a national model for health sciences education and community transformation, offering an innovative interprofessional atmosphere to attract the best students, faculty and collaborative partners. In order to realize this vision, it was necessary to foster a dynamic environment dedicated to innovative teaching and learning. Mary Baldwin University engaged Kahler Slater as the health sciences education architect to create a state-of-the-art home for their new programs.

The building is the flagship facility for Mary Baldwin’s second campus, created to provide new opportunities for students and establish them as a leader in Health Science Education. The College offers Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Physician Assistant degrees, as well as a RN to BSN program.

From the three-story, light-filled atrium with waterfall staircase to the active learning classrooms, simulation suite, human anatomy cadaver lab, clinical labs, research spaces and numerous formal and informal gathering places, the facility creates opportunities for students and faculty from all four programs to work together. Individual programs were analyzed in order to find opportunities for shared space and resources. This focus on interprofessional collaboration and sharing of knowledge through research and applied learning experiences will give students a broader understanding of health care and more accurately reflects the environments in which they will ultimately work.

Powerful Results

Designers were challenged to create a national model in health sciences education to attract the best students and faculty, inspire excellence and garner respect of peer institutions.