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FLCC celebrates opening of $7.2M Sands Family Center for Allied Health at main campus

Finger Lakes Community College recently celebrated the opening of the $7.2 million Sands Family Center for Allied Health, a renovation and expansion of its nursing wing, at the main campus.

With the expansion, the college will accept new students in both the fall and spring semesters. The application for the spring 2023 semester is currently open through Oct. 15. FLCC will also launch a licensed practical nursing program, starting in fall 2023.

“The Sands Family Center for Allied Health reflects a true team effort among the Sands Family Foundation, Thompson Health, Ontario County and the college,” said FLCC President Robert Nye. “We were united in our mission to fill a critical community need for nurses at our hospitals, medical offices and skilled nursing facilities.”

Richard Sands, representing the Sands Family Foundation, joined college and community leaders for a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Sands Family Foundation contributed $3 million to the project.

“As important as today’s ribbon-cutting is, I am already thinking about the impact this center will have on our community,” Sands said. “Five years from now, hundreds of students will have passed through these halls and taken their places in our medical facilities where their compassion and skills are so needed.”

In addition to the Sands Family Foundation donation, the FLCC Student Corporation contributed $250,000; the FLCC Association, $200,000; and the FLCC Foundation, $200,000. New York State provided $3.6 million in matching funds to all the private contributions. Thompson Health will contribute an instructor for the licensed practical nursing program.

Nursing classrooms at FLCC
The expanded nursing wing features wall murals of nature scenes photographed by Sophie Parshall, president of the FLCC Student Corporation. Photo by Tim Wilkes
Nursing debriefing room
The nursing wing debriefing room, where faculty review simulation exercises with students. Photo by Tim Wilkes

The project began with a renovation of existing space to add enhanced simulation labs. The labs allow faculty to observe and record students during exercises then share the recording with them in a debriefing session. The expansion added an additional simulation lab and more patient bays to serve an increasing student population.

The new facilities complement a revised curriculum that focuses on clinical judgment and critical thinking.

After the work began, the College received a $1.5 million state workforce development grant to add an additional science lab by mid-2023.

Visitors at the ribbon-cutting were able to tour the facilities and view a demonstration of how students use computer-controlled manikins that can simulate a wide range of symptoms. The tour also included a stop at two other facilities included in the overall project, a holography lab and the Center for Student Well-Being.

In 2018, the college began using three-dimensional holography to enhance the teaching of human anatomy and physiology, a required class for several programs: nursing, kinesiology and human performance, health care studies, physical education and exercise science, and nutrition and dietetics.

Under the guidance of Christine Parker, associate professor in biology, students wear Microsoft HoloLens visors in labs. The headset uses the HoloAnatomy Software Suite developed by Case Western Reserve University in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic. This software enables students to view highly detailed, three-dimensional images of human organs individually and as parts of body systems.

The Center for Student Well-Being provides access to counseling and health services, well-being and emergency resources, and preventive programing. Examples of services include free 24/7 virtual medical and mental health care, in-person appointments for preventative care, and treatment of common health problems. The center also offers assistance with basic needs such as food, transportation, housing expenses, and referrals to community agencies.

Ontario County, the local government sponsor of FLCC, hired PLAN Architectural Studio of Rochester to provide architectural and engineering services and LeChase Construction Services of Rochester to provide construction management. The county awarded the general contracting bid to G.M. Crisalli & Associates of Syracuse, the electrical bid to Connors-Haas of Ontario, and the plumbing bid to Postler & Jaeckle Corp of Rochester.