FORT WAYNE – Working closely with Parkview Health, Trine University will significantly expand its ability to meet the health care needs of Allen County and the surrounding region with a new $40 million university housing program and 120,000 square feet in its College of Health Professions.
Trine and Parkview will request the rezoning of a 10.6-acre parcel on the north side of Union Chapel Road off Interstate 69 at C-1 (Professional Office and Personal Services) to accommodate the new building.
Trine plans to begin construction on the four-story facility, to be named Trine University Fort Wayne, once all necessary approvals have been received, with the building expected to open in fall 2024.
When fully operational, Trine Fort Wayne will employ 100 faculty and staff and serve nearly 700 students at the Trine College of Health Professions, which currently includes its physical therapy, physician assistant, speech language pathology, nursing nursing and surgical technology. The new space will allow CHP to add new programs, including Occupational Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Medical Sciences and Emergency Medical Sciences.
“As the needs for healthcare delivery grow across the country and certainly in our region, we salute Trine’s leadership and this bold approach to shaping the education of our future healthcare professionals,” said Dena Jacquay, executive director of Parkview Health. “Parkview continues to partner with area colleges and universities to strengthen not only our workforce, but also our communities. Trine Fort Wayne is a wonderful addition to our Parkview Regional Medical Center campus and the positive impacts this project will have on the health and well-being of our region.
In addition to state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, the new facility will feature an innovative simulated patient care center, including simulated surgery and emergency rooms, as well as examination and patient rooms. The building will also contain many resources for student support, including a library, bookstore, staging area, academic support and counseling services.
“With its state-of-the-art academic programs and facilities, Trine Fort Wayne will transform health care education in Northeast Indiana, establishing Fort Wayne as a premier center for health care and provider education” , said Trine University President Earl D. Brooks II. “We are thrilled and proud to partner with Parkview Health in making this investment in the health and economic vitality of Fort Wayne, Allen County and this region, and we look forward to the dividends it will reap in the years to come.”
Trine will move its physical therapy, physician assistant, and surgical technology programs from their current location at the Trine Health Sciences Education Center on the Parkview Randallia campus, and the speech-language pathology program from its education center from Fort Wayne on Dupont Road.
“We are grateful for Parkview’s generous support of our healthcare programs at its Randallia campus, but both parties have realized for some time that space has become and will continue to be a limiting factor there.” , said Brooks. “We are delighted to extend our alliance with Parkview to benefit not only our two organizations, but the region as a whole.”
The need for qualified healthcare professionals becomes more acute as the US population continues to age. The US Census Bureau estimates that there are currently 54 million people aged 65 and older in the United States, with older people expected to outnumber children under 18 by 2034.
The continued growth of the elderly population will only exacerbate the need for healthcare workers, with job openings in the field already expected to grow at a much higher than average rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) already predicts job growth of 31% for physician assistants and 21% for physical therapists in the decade ending in 2030.
In addition to improving the quality of life in the area by expanding the pool of qualified healthcare providers, the growth of Trine College of Health Professions will improve the local economy by producing more high-wage professionals who will live and work in the area. The BLS estimates the current median annual salary to be over $114,000 for physician assistants and over $91,000 for physical therapists.
Trine University founded the College of Health Professions in 2013 at the Parkview Randallia site. The CHP is home to the university’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Physical Therapy, as well as other graduate and undergraduate programs preparing students for careers in healthcare.