Patient Care Center Premiere

By Rodney Tanaka, Senior Communications Writer

POMONA, Calif. - 11/24/2008 -- Cooperation. Innovation. Commitment to humanistic health care.

The Patient Care Center is being built with more than just bricks and mortar. These ideals will serve as the foundation for outstanding patient care at Western University of Health Sciences’ new medical center. WesternU held a “premiere” party to celebrate the construction of the Patient Care Center (PCC) on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008. PCC is expected to be completed in 2010.

“The Patient Care Center, with its integrative health care focus, will be more than an academic health care center in which teams comprised of different health professionals practice in unison with one another; it will be a place where patients and their families, within our community, will receive the most effective diagnosis and treatment to promote their total well-being,” said Benjamin Cohen, DO, FACOP, WesternU Provost and Chief Operating Officer.

The construction is part of a strategic plan to address impending shortages in the health care work force. WesternU will open four new colleges and will implement an interprofessional education curriculum that will bring together students from different disciplines to learn from each other and foster mutual respect.

The university is also building a 178,000-square-foot Health Education Center that will house the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), College of Dental Medicine, College of Optometry and College of Podiatric Medicine.

PCC will provide the following services: pharmaceutical, optometry, retail optician, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, dental medicine, and interprofessional diagnostic services.

WesternU expects to double its patient volume when the Patient Care Center opens, from 700 to 900 patients per month to 2,000 per month, said David Connett, DO, FACOOFP, Medical Director of the WesternU Medical Center and Assistant Dean for Post Doctoral Education and Development for COMP.

The scope of practice will expand to include advanced women’s health care, along with the addition of podiatry, optometry and dentistry, which will be a huge value for patients, he said. Residents throughout the Pomona Valley will seek care at this state-of-the-art facility, where evidence-based medicine is taught, Connett said.

“We will provide a level of care that is second to none,” he said. “We practice what we teach.”

Students from the different disciplines on campus will work together to improve patient care, and PCC is designed to facilitate this interaction.

“Today’s pharmacy graduates are prepared to provide services that optimize medication outcomes, assure appropriate, safe and accurate medications for patients of all ages in all practice settings and provide services that will promote wellness, health improvement and disease prevention,” said Daniel Robinson, PharmD, Dean of the College of Pharmacy. “Because of WesternU’s commitment to interprofessional education and the pioneering design of the Patient Care Center, our graduates will be uniquely qualified to participate in the coordinated delivery of health care.”

PCC will strengthen the bond between the university and the Pomona community as WesternU strives to meet the health care needs of Pomona residents, said College of Optometry Founding Dean Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DrPH.

“The opening of the PCC will enhance our teaching program by providing real world, hands on clinical experiences,” she said. “Doctors of optometry who graduate from WesternU will be ready to practice to the fullest scope by applying the latest in technology and scientific advancements. With WesternU's commitment to humanism in the health sciences, alumni will appreciate a team approach to health care and will be fully prepared to work with other health professionals to provide the best patient care. The new Patient Care Center translates this vision into reality.”


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