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GPNA celebrates Simulation Center expansion and renovation with ribbon cutting

12.03.2021 | By:

On Oct. 29, the Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia celebrated the opening of its new Simulation Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by university community members, donors, Fort Worth community leaders and GPNA professionals. The event was held as a part of the 2021 Homecoming Week festivities.

“We’re here to celebrate this wonderful new space and to express our excitement about our ability to continue to provide critically needed nurse anesthetists for the healthcare profession,” said Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach. “And we want to thank our donors for helping to make this project possible. We are so fortunate here at Texas Wesleyan to have donors who understand, appreciate and support our mission.” 

Guests heard remarks from Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees Chairman Glenn Lewis ’81, University President Frederick G. Slabach and Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia Program Director, Terri Kane MHS ’99, DNAP ’15. After a short ceremony where donors officially cut the ribbon, guests were treated to tours of the new facility which features three expanded simulated operating rooms, a simulation control room and renovations to both the student lounge area and restroom facilities.

“The Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia is one of the flagship programs at Texas Wesleyan University, and it has been since it started in the 1980s,” said Board of Trustees Chair Glenn Lewis during his opening remarks. “From this building each year, we launch the careers of 100 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists right here from Polytechnic Heights.”

“This renovation has had such an incredible impact not only on our current students but also on our future students,” said Program Director Terri Kane. “The ability to simulate critical thinking skills and physical skills in our simulation center improves patient care, safety and student confidence in transitioning from the classroom to the OR.”

The expansion has been a long time in the making.

Fundraising for the effort began in May 2019. When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, half of the $2 million for the project had been raised, leaving the remainder to be raised during the pandemic. The final dollar came in the door in July 2021, two months after construction started.

Because classes are scheduled August through May, construction had to be contained to the summer months. It was a tight deadline, but GPNA faculty and staff were allowed to move back in a week before classes started in August.

“The changes that have occurred here are just awesome,” said Roderick Reinke, retired GPNA professor and program director as well as the namesake of the Roderick Reinke Ph.D GPNA Lecture Hall. “Almost to the point that I would like to be back here working and teaching the Nurse Anesthesia students again. It was the highlight of my professional career and the folks here have done a wonderful job of providing a top-notch facility.”

Before and after photos: