Opens New Health Sciences Institute

By: John Gilsch

A new Health Sciences Institute has opened at Eastern Florida State College in a major advance for training the state’s next-generation of health care professionals.

The institute is the centerpiece of the college’s commitment to health care education,
housing 12 programs through which students can earn bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and college certificates.

Located on the Melbourne campus, the $20 million state-of-the-art building contains specialized labs and training areas on par with the best in the nation.

Among the learning tools are human patient simulators that provide students valuable hands-on training in a real world environment.

The impressive array of training areas include rooms for surgery, nursing, emergency care, intensive care, radiography, sonography and more.

“Inside our building, a new chapter in health care education is being written that will improve the well-being of residents throughout our region for decades to come,” said college President Dr. Jim Richey.

“The students studying there have answered a special calling that requires a unique blend of knowledge and compassion to administer care.

“Those traits have always been the hallmark of a health care education at Eastern Florida, and the new institute gives us more and better ways to advance the highest principles of the profession.”

Students are thrilled with the facility, saying the 60,000-square-foot institute is playing an important role in starting their careers.

“This new building has been incredible,” said Brandon Livingston, a student in the physical therapist assistant program.

“We have state-of-the-art equipment for all the programs, and I think it will definitely have a positive impact on the future of health care and our education.”

Nursing student Amanda Hughes agreed, saying: “The fact the simulators breathe and you can take their pulse, when you actually get into the hospitals you’ve already walked through the scenarios.”

“I wouldn’t expect this in our school here in Brevard,” said Jordan Lockhart, also a student in the nursing program. “It’s amazing to be able to say we have this.”

About 460 students are enrolled in the institute this year, a number that’s expected to grow as the college continues adding more programs.


Other planned buildings include a Center for Innovative Technology Education, a Hospitality Management Center and Student Housing Complex.

The expansion is making the Melbourne campus a vital center for higher education and workforce development well into the 21st century.