University of South Dakota’s new School of Health Sciences to open

The University of South Dakota’s new School of Health Sciences building is set to open to the public on Sept. 8 with a grand opening and ribbon cutting.

Eight of USD’s fastest-growing majors will take space in the school, including the majors of dental hygiene, nursing, social work, addiction counseling and prevention, medical laboratory science, physician assistant studies, public health and health sciences.

Housing these programs together allows students to collaborate in the type of real-life environments they will encounter in modern hospitals and clinics across South Dakota. The new School of Health Sciences building also provides more opportunities for health sciences and medical students to work together.

More:USD breaks ground on new School of Health Sciences, set to open in 2023

USD President Sheila Gestring said the new facility will help USD increase enrollment and produce health care professionals to work in many of South Dakota’s high-need areas. In the past, USD has had to turn qualified applicants away because the facilities couldn’t accommodate larger class sizes, Gestring said in a news release.

“This state-of-the-art building will be the catalyst for health sciences students as they learn and develop into the next generation of health care professionals,” Gestring said in a release, thanking the support of the legislature, Board of Regents, Delta Dental and more for the building.

University and community leadership, including University of South Dakota President Sheila Gestring, Dean of the School of Health Sciences Haifa Abou Samra, Senator Arthur Rusch and Delta Dental President and CEO Scott Jones, break ground on the new School of Health Sciences building on Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Vermillion.

Work started on the 45,000 square-foot building in April 2021. The facility houses the Delta Dental Oral Health Center on the first floor, which was named in honor of a $1 million gift from the Delta Dental of South Dakota Foundation.

More:University of South Dakota plans, completes major construction projects on campus. Take a look

The building also houses technology-enhanced active learning classrooms, health sciences laboratories, simulation rooms, student collaboration and study space, and shared faculty and staff workplace.

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