Ohio State seeks trustee approval on Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center

The Ohio State University is taking the next step on a proposed Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center that will blend innovative technology and hands-on learning in conjunction with the university’s strategic plan.


Ohio State will seek approval for the $155.9 million health sciences center during next week’s Board of Trustees meeting. Funding sources are to be determined. The project is poised to benefit colleges, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, public health and veterinary medicine, and strengthen the interdisciplinary curriculum of Ohio State.

“A healthier future demands health care leaders who are prepared to work together to address health challenges,” said Bruce A. McPheron, Ohio State’s executive vice president and provost. “Ohio State’s new health sciences education building is the place where students will become those leaders.”

The multiphase project advances Framework 2.0, the university’s long-term planning vision. It includes a 150,000-square-foot renovation of Hamilton Hall and construction of a new 100,000-square-foot building featuring flexible facilities to serve multiple disciplines. Program space will include:

  • 33 interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art classrooms, each with new teaching technology, including virtual reality and enhanced anatomy and surgical practice labs
  • 6,000-square-foot informal learning space
  • 125-seat grand reading room

“Ohio State is in the process of creating a new model to replace the 100-year-old-plus model of academic medicine in use today,” said Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at Ohio State and Wexner Medical Center CEO. “This new academic health model takes advantage of the latest technology and brightest minds to educate professionals prepared to address the changing health needs of diverse populations. This is the key to building healthier communities.”

The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center will focus on inclusive work environments to create:

  • Spaces for students in the health sciences to convene conversations and build team approaches to health care — a way to quickly assess patients’ needs and work with the right colleagues to design the best care plans for each individual.
  • Opportunities for students to be at the forefront of innovation through modern technology — whether by using realistic virtual reality models to simulate patient care or learning how video chats, texting and other emerging “telehealth” innovations can help health care providers and patients stay in regular communication between in-person office visits.
  • Warm and welcoming environments that support Ohio State’s work to build diverse communities of medical students. Research has shown that diversity in medicine — including increasing representation of women and people of color — leads to better health outcomes.

Design for the new Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center began in August 2018. Pending board approval, construction could begin in October 2019, with completion targeted for late summer 2023.

Progress continues on a separate Health Sciences Faculty Office and Optometry Clinic at 11th and Neil avenues. The 106,000-square-foot building will be home to optometry clinics, retail spaces and faculty offices. The $35.9 million project is 60% of the way through steel work and targeting an October 2020 opening.

For more information about these projects and other major initiatives advancing Framework 2.0, visit Time and Change: Building the Future.


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