Eastern Area Health Education Center cuts ribbon on new facility
Jan. 27, 2017
A new facility in Greenville will increase collaborative education for health care providers across eastern North Carolina, including those who begin their careers East Carolina University.
Eastern Area Health Education Center, a non-profit affiliated with ECU, cut the ribbon on its new home located at 2600 W. Arlington Blvd. on Thursday, Jan. 19. The 36,400 square foot building provides expanded and technologically updated space for Eastern AHEC's continuing education and professional development programs.
The Education Center on the first floor contains two meeting rooms and four classrooms that can easily be configured for both lectures and interactive activities as well as webcasting. This setup allows providers to collaborate across disciplines and across all 23 counties in the Eastern AHEC service area.
"We designed this to be a place for collaboration," Eastern AHEC Executive Director Dr. Lorrie Basnight said. "We'll work with each other to solve tough problems and improve health in our area."
The ECU Office of Clinical Skills and Assessment leases the second floor for their clinical skills lab, which allows health professions students to practice interacting with actor patients. Eastern AHEC offices are on the third floor.
"We are very excited to be resident neighbors, and we foresee a lot of collaboration in the future," said Dr. Maria Clay, director of the ECU Office of Clinical Skills and Assessment.
The $11 million building, designed by East Group and built by C.A. Lewis, was financed primarily with funds saved over more than 20 years, as well as a tax exempt bond placed with Southern Bank. Audio-visual technology is by Kontek.
Founded in 1974, Eastern AHEC is one of nine centers in the North Carolina AHEC program. The mission of this program is to meet the state's health and health workforce needs by providing educational programs and services bridging academic institutions and communities to improve the health of the people of North Carolina with a focus on underserved populations.
Eastern AHEC previously was located in Vidant Health property at 2000 Venture Tower Dr. The organization occupied the new building Aug. 29, 2016. The ribbon cutting originally was set for October but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew.
"We are so excited to finally be here doing this ribbon cutting," said Dr. Sylvia Brown, chair of the Eastern AHEC Board of Directors and dean of the ECU College of Nursing. "The health sciences division is so indebted to everything Eastern AHEC does for our students, faculty, and alumni."
"I'm so proud of the tremendously innovative work you'll see inside this building for learners and professionals of all disciplines," said Dr. Nicholas Benson, interim dean of the Brody School of Medicine.
"Having both AHEC and clinical skills in the same building will provide an opportunity for new types of clinical learning," Basnight stated.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Leo Corbin, president of the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce, with music provided by the ECU School of Music.
The Education Center is available for community use. For more information or to make reservations, call 252-744-5221. Upcoming continuing education programs are listed at www.easternahec.net.