Creating a hands-on, interdisciplinary learning institute

Metropolitan Community College
Penn Valley Health Science Institute

Kansas City, Missouri

Metropolitan Community College set out to bring together a variety of health sciences programs, campus thought leaders, and local health care providers by creating a new Health Sciences Institute in an existing commercial office building. MCC Penn Valley has become a national benchmark for community colleges and boasts simulation facilities that rival a university setting. Kahler Slater served as the health sciences education architect in partnership with local firm Gould Evans.

The project was unique due to the complexities of transforming the existing office building into a state-of-the-art educational environment for training tomorrow’s health care workforce. A major goal of the planning and design team was to open up the building, allowing for transparency and visibility into the various program areas to promote interdisciplinary interaction. The program includes a Virtual Hospital which has various rooms such as ER and ICU as well as specific hands-on simulation labs for dental education, EMS, nursing, home health, OTA/PTA, radiology, and surgery.

The Institute is a regional destination for continuing education for nurses and other health professionals. The building has increased outreach to future potential health professionals and has allowed for enhanced partnerships with 4-year institutions, local health care entities and the community.