Wake Forest Baptist celebrates opening of the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education

Wake Forest Baptist celebrates opening of the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education
July 28
07:30 2016


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center announced completion of the new medical education building for its School of Medicine. The Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education opened in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem after an 18-month renovation of a former Reynolds American tobacco manufacturing plant. The Bowman Gray Center qualified for historic tax credits worth more than $23 million toward its estimated $60 million cost.

“Today marks the end of a well-executed vision to move a significant portion of our School of Medicine and become part of a community of innovation, discovery and collaboration in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Wake Forest School of Medicine’s growth is not defined by this new location, but by its great faculty, staff, students and alumni. Its footprint now covers many education, research and health care facilities including the new Bowman Gray Center.”

The facility is designed with the next generation of physician-leaders in mind. Today’s medical learners are diverse and technologically savvy. Team-based, inter-professional learning for students requires the flexible space that the new building provides, and includes a tiered classroom, large and small group classrooms, as well as dedicated areas for quiet, individual study.

“We are preparing a collaborative, highly skilled health care workforce that is better prepared to respond to our community’s health needs,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “Research shows patient outcomes improve with inter-professional team-based care. Medical students who learn alongside students from other health care professions report a better understanding of collaborative care, and higher levels of overall satisfaction with their medical training and practice.”

The timing of the opening of the new Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education coincides with Wake Forest School of Medicine introducing one of the most advanced medical school curricula in the country. It allows medical students to prepare for real-life experiences in the most modern of settings: from outpatient clinic to trauma center bay, complete with the new informatics and technologies used in patient care today.

The Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education connects via a bridge on the fifth floor to 525@Vine, home to Wake Forest Baptist’s department of physician assistant studies and its nurse anesthesia program.

The renovated former 60 series R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company complex encompasses the new School of Medicine in 168,000 square feet of space on the north side of the building. Next year, Wake Forest University will introduce new undergraduate programs in biomedical sciences and engineering in 115,000 square feet on the south side of the building.

“Dr. McConnell and Dean Abraham’s vision for the future of medical education is complemented by the intersection of tradition and innovation that defines the school’s new location,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch. “This building, which will literally and figuratively bring medical and liberal arts education together under one roof, greatly enhances opportunities for closer collaboration among our students and deeper engagement within our community.”

Wake Forest’s first year medical students, the Class of 2020, will arrive this week for orientation and begin classes in the new building.

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