As part of a community partnership, Franklin College and Johnson Memorial Health (JMH) announce the establishment of the Franklin College Graduate Health Science Center, the new home to Franklin College’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program, as well as its forthcoming Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program.
The partnership was confirmed by Franklin College President Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., and Johnson Memorial Health officials.
The Graduate Health Science Center will be housed in the lower level of the JMH-owned building at 2085 Acorn Boulevard in Franklin, just west of U.S. 31, and approximately three miles from the Franklin College campus. The space was previously occupied by JMH Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies. Those services moved to the newly constructed Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Center on the Johnson Memorial campus in December. The upper level of the facility will continue to house an Immediate Care Center, Occupational Health Center and physician offices.
“Franklin College is very pleased with this partnership,” said President Thomas J. Minar. “It allows the college to provide a state-of-the-art health-teaching facility for our graduate programs while also allowing Johnson Memorial Health a creative way to utilize vacated professional space. It is not only beneficial to the college and the hospital, but to the city of Franklin, as well.”
“This is a win-win for JMH and Franklin College,” said Larry Heydon, President/CEO of Johnson Memorial Health. “We are happy to provide this space for Franklin College to train future health care professionals and look forward to benefiting from the talent they will produce.”
In order to prepare the facility to meet the needs for the master’s programs, the existing area was renovated, with Franklin College having full control of the design of the 8,327-square-foot space. Office space, classrooms and an additional restroom were added. The facility is undergoing final touches with a completion date set for June 1. The college will lease the facility from the hospital for 10 years, with the option to renew the lease for an additional 10 years.
Currently, the college’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program is housed at 66 Water Street in Franklin while the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, which is set to begin in January 2019 pending accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and ARC-PA, does not have dedicated space. Having both programs housed together greatly benefits the college, providing students and faculty the ability to collaborate more easily.
“Interprofessional education is something that is stressed in health care, so physically being together will enhance this opportunity. Also, on a peer-level it will be great to have other master’s faculty members in the same space,” said Jennifer Austin, Ph.D., ATC, director of the Master of Science in Athletic Training program. “Water Street has been a fabulous place for our program, but it will be beneficial for us to work directly alongside other colleagues.”
“We are excited at the opportunity to collaborate with Johnson Memorial Health to train health care providers for the region,” said Thomas Meehan, Ph.D., PA-C, the program director for the college’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. “We look forward to serving the community by bringing the first PA program to southeast Indiana.”
According to college officials, the site is pending approval of the Higher Learning Commission and the U.S. Department of Education, but faculty will move in during June. The PA program will not commence unless and until both ARC-PA and the Higher Learning Commission have approved the program.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.
(Posted May 15, 2018)