Southeast Tech to build ‘state-of-the-art’ facility to train more medical professionals

Southeast Tech to build 'state-of-the-art' facility to train more medical professionals

Simplified: Southeast Technical College will move into and renovate the current Zeal building to create a state-of-the-art healthcare simulation center where students can learn everything from blood draws to surgery to emergency room training via the simulation.

why is it important

  • Sioux Falls has a critical shortage of qualified health personnel, Southeast Tech President Bob Griggs said this new $10.1 million building is Southeast Tech’s way of stepping in to help fill that gap.
  • Southeast Tech the current health care building is overcrowdedand the new space will provide more room for existing programs as well as room to add new ones.
  • The building became available when Startup Sioux Falls – which currently occupies the building – announced plans to move downtown. Sanford and Avera help design renovationsand Griggs expects the school to issue a request for proposals once it is finalized.

“The institution itself will be a state-of-the-art institution,” said Benjamin Valdez, vice president of academic affairs. “I don’t really know of any other colleges that have something that will be at this point.”

So what is a simulation center?

It is a way for health professionals in training to practice various scenarios in a simulated environment with mannequins and technology rather than practicing on real people.

The building will have six simulation roomsand each room will be able to change equipment to accommodate various simulations, from surgery to midwifery to pediatrics, said Kristin Possehl, dean of healthcare program and instruction.

  • He will also have the ability to organize community trainings for traumatic or mass casualty events.

“We can have a mother giving birth, and the professor can sit down and type out different scenarios that a nurse might come up with and put them in all kinds of different situations,” said Stephen Williamson, director of the Southeast Tech foundation.

Does the new center also mean new degree programs?

Yes, some of which are already underway.

The school added new associate degrees related to behavioral and mental health, as well as respiratory therapy. There is also a new certificate available for community health workers and room for more opportunities in the future, Valdez said.

Who pays for this?

Funding comes from three main sources.

  • Sanford Health and Avera Health each donated more than $2 million.
  • The state – after legislative approval and Governor Kristi Noem’s signature – is contributing $4.5 million to fund the necessary equipment. (A dummy used in the simulation can cost up to $100,000, Griggs said.)
  • And Forward Sioux Falls helped craft a five-year lease where Forward Sioux Falls will pay $225,000 per year.

Griggs noted that all of these partners together were what really made this project come to fruition.

“If any of these pieces didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be able to move forward,” he added.

What are people saying?

Noahin a statement, called the new simulation center “a real win for the college, Sioux Falls and the State of South Dakota.”

Mayor Paul TenHaken said in a statement that it was a “great multi-level partnership” and would help meet the growing need for a healthcare workforce.

“There is no better repurposing of the Zeal facility than to support workforce development in our city and state by meeting the growing needs of our healthcare industry,” said Brienne Maner, executive director of Startup Sioux Falls.

Williams0n teased even more news alongside the building announcement.

“This school, this leadership team has some big ideas about some things we want to do and where we want to go,” he said. “And we’re just getting started.”

What happens next?

Design for the simulation center is underway. Then Southeast Tech will issue a request for proposals for the renovation and move forward from there.

There is no set timetable for the opening of the new facility at this stage.