D'Youville College has been awarded a $5 million grant through the New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program (HECap). D'Youville will use the $5 million towards the construction of a 50,000-square foot Health Professions Hub to train the healthcare workforce of the future.
"We are honored to receive the largest award in D'Youville's history," said President Lorrie Clemo. "The HECap grant is a transformative step in opening up a world of opportunity for our students, college, and community, helping to establish Western New York as a premier location for health career enhancement."
"I would like to thank D'Youville's distinguished faculty and thought leaders, State Senator Chris Jacobs; Senator Tim Kennedy, D'Youville Class of '99; Assemblyman Sean Ryan; Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown; and the entire Western New York delegation whose tireless efforts went into procuring this extraordinary award and helping us to achieve our vision of creating a beacon for health professions for the state and beyond.
"We also thank Mayor Byron Brown for his leadership and support, our D'Youville Board of Trustees, generous donors, the Western New York healthcare leadership and countless other community leaders for their support and work on D'Youville's behalf," added Clemo.
"The HECap grant is a significant step to help D'Youville establish itself as the preeminent center for health career training and workforce preparedness while meeting the complex healthcare needs of society," said Dr. Maureen Finney, School of Health Professions Dean.
"Our Health Professions Hub, with interprofessional skills training, will help address the world's healthcare provider shortage by producing more highly-skilled professionals right here in Western New York. In addition, we will improve public health by addressing the needs of the underserved in our community."
"The real future of this community is here. To have this project right here in our community, right next to the school, a part of the school, this is going to teach new clinicians how to collaborate, how to work in interdisciplinary teams," said Charles Urlaub, D'Youville's Board of Trustees Chairperson and President/CEO of Mercy Hospital. "The folks that came before us had a vision for D'Youville to be a leader in healthcare education. We find ourselves right now in a situation where we can take advantage of this vision and be able to bring this collaboration together."
The Higher Education Facilities Capital Matching Grant Program (HECap) supports capital projects at New York independent colleges and universities, awarded through a highly competitive process based on the economic development impact of where the funds are needed. The Hub project will consist of property acquisition, site preparation, planning and design services, building construction, and all furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the facility. D'Youville plans on raising the rest of the $20 million through public and private grants, foundations, individual gifts, and donations over the next two years that will include building and other naming opportunities. Plans are to begin construction in 2019 and open in 2020.
Designated as a Federal Health Professional Shortage Area, Buffalo will need to fill approximately 10,000 healthcare jobs in Western New York by 2024. The Health Professions Hub will help to mitigate job shortages by expanding the number of trained health professionals and provide innovative educational programs focusing on inter-collaborative practice. D'Youville anticipates over 5,000 individuals will participate in workforce development and educational programs annually.
President Clemo closed her remarks with a challenge to make D'Youville's Health Professions Hub a reality they'd need to raise an additional $15 million. "The Hub is going to be a gift," said Clemo. "That gift is not for D'Youville, the gift is not even for the building itself - as it has been said, D'Youville is not a bunch of buildings, it is people caring for other others and their world. The Hub's primary purpose is for healthier people, raising the money and getting The Hub built is a promise for a healthier tomorrow."
D'Youville draws over 3,000 students from across New York State and nationally in health-related, arts and sciences, and liberal arts education fields. The proximity and interconnectedness of D'Youville's health-related programs empower students to gain 21st-century skills and opportunities to work in interprofessional teams. D'Youville currently is ranked as the number one private school in Western New York for income ten years after admission and over 90% of their students become employed within six months of graduation.