On Thursday, June 23, Appalachian State University will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Beaver College of Health Sciences. The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which is taking place from 10 to 11 a.m. at 1179 State Farm Road off from Deerfield Road.
Parking is available on site, and those speaking include ASU Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, Board of Trustees and major donor Donald C. Beaver, ARHS President and CEO Richard Sparks, Beaver College of Health Sciences Founding Dean Frederick Whitt, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Darrell P. Kruger.
In 2010, recognizing a growing demand for health professionals for North Carolina, particularly in rural areas, Appalachian State University created a College of Health Sciences. Chancellor Sheri N. Everts said, “Since its founding in 2010, the College of Health Sciences has seen phenomenal growth and this stellar college needs a home to provide classroom and lab space, offer a centralized hub for faculty, and support the growth due to the demand of students who want careers in health care.”
In 2015, the college was named in honor of Appalachian alumnus Donald C. Beaver, who lives in Conover with his wife, Vickie. Upon announcement of the college naming, Beaver said, “Appalachian prepared me for a successful career in the health care industry. The health care industry is changing, and there is more demand for top flight health care leaders to handle the increase in patient population. I’m happy that I’m able to support the College of Health Sciences in their efforts to broaden the program to meet the demands of the future.”
The vision of the BCHS is to become the preeminent and most comprehensive college of health professions in Western North Carolina. The BCHS now includes approximately 160 faculty and staff serving 3,300 students majoring in one of 10 undergraduate and five graduate degree programs. These programs are in the areas of exercise science, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, nutrition, health care management, social work, athletic training, recreation management, health and physical education and public health promotion. Appalachian is poised and ready to meet demand for qualified health care, which is critical in our state.
Continuing a partnership that has lasted well over a century, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System generously donated the land for this new academic building to house the BCHS; funding from the North Carolina General Assembly supported planning and design for the new building, and the citizens of North Carolina, with passing of the Connect NC bond, have entrusted Appalachian with an investment of $70 million to fund the building construction.
The new building will house a mix of high tech lecture-style and problem-based learning classrooms to create a variety of learning environments, including research laboratories and an expanded interprofessional health clinic for the university’s Institute for Health and Human Services. Telehealth programming and mobile health outreach, in collaboration with regional health providers, will improve access to health care in underserved rural populations and build a regional culture of wellness through educational and preventive services. At the site dedication, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System President and CEO Richard Sparks shared the facility “has been a long time coming. So many have worked diligently for the past 10 years.”
More information about the Beaver College of Health Sciences and the building are available at healthsciences.appstate.edu