BSC cuts ribbon for Hawthorn Health Sciences Center opening

Published 6:26 pm Friday, January 29, 2016


Distinguished guests gather as USG Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Hawthorn Health Sciences Center. Pictured (left to right, back): Erwin Harrell of Southern Triad Construction; Dan Ponder, Mayor of Donalsonville; Edward Reynolds, Mayor of Bainbridge; and Houston Davis, USG Chief Academic Officer (left to right, front): Keith Barrett of Altman & Barrett Architects; BSC Interim President Shawn McGee; USG Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby; Sen. Dean Burke; and Jeff Weathersby of Southern Triad Construction.

By Susanne Reynolds

The future patients of Bainbridge State College Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) program students have no need worry about the experience level of their healthcare providers thanks to the Hawthorn Health Sciences Center, which resembles a real hospital with simulation capabilities.

“One of the very first things patients always say is have you done this before,” said Jeffrey Ross, Chair & Associate Professor of Nursing. “So now we can say ‘absolutely.’”

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Some of the features of the 11,488-square-foot building include a virtual hospital with an ICU/trauma, OB and pediatric, medical/surgical and orthopedic room, along with debriefing room and a control room for instructors. The “hospital” even has a nurses’ station.

Aside from the virtual hospital, the Hawthorn Health Sciences Center includes faculty offices, a conference room, collaboration area for students, and bed skills check-off lab.

Nursing, EMT and Health Science students now have the opportunity to practice with virtual mannequins in real scenarios. With the new technology, the nursing instructors more effectively teach the students to give IV’s, practice drawing blood and even practice delivering babies.

“We can actually simulate what it is going to be like, so the students can have a decreased level of anxiety and being able to perform better and have confidence in their abilities,” added Ross.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Bainbridge State College faculty, staff, students and various distinguished guests celebrated the opening of the Hawthorn Health Sciences Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

As Interim President Shawn McGee explained, the Hawthorn Health Sciences Center is the first of its kind at Bainbridge State College.

He said, “It will allow us to train future healthcare providers with the use of high and low fidelity simulation. The information and experience that will be obtained in this building will play a huge role on the nursing care our students will provide to patients of all ages in southwest Georgia and beyond.”

Among the distinguished guests were University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby and Georgia Senator Dean Burke.

According to Huckaby, facilities such as the Hawthorn Health Sciences Center are assisting USG on their mission in producing highly trained professionals in the state.

“We have built several of these facilities in the state and it’s amazing the impact it has on students and education in this region,” said Huckaby. “It’s the closest to a hands-on experience as you can get. This is a major addition for Bainbridge State College—and the entire region.”

Sen. Burke, who has been in the healthcare profession for over 30 years, recognized how important the facility will be for the area.

He said, “The Hawthorn Health Sciences Center will be instrumental in training students for healthcare careers in order to take better care of you, your children and parents.”

He added that the healthcare industry in rural parts of Georgia are the number one employer and a “huge economic engine,” so Bainbridge State College’s newest addition is vitally important to the region.

“I’m extremely proud of anything we can do to support the healthcare industry in southwest Georgia,” said Burke.

Bainbridge State College thanked Keith Barrett, Walter Altman and Allan Wadsworth of Altman & Barrett—and Erwin Harrell and Jeff Weathersby of Southern Triad Construction—as well as the BSC Plant & Operations team for taking the idea of a state-of-the-art facility and making it a reality for the people of Bainbridge and southwest Georgia.

McGee said, “You have been instrumental in assisting the College on its mission to produce highly trained professional in this region—and for that you should be commended.”

Bainbridge State College’s Health Science & Professional Studies students have already started using the new virtual facility.