A new, 40,000-square-foot family medical clinic and training ground for SIU physician assistants has opened its doors.
Local officials gathered Thursday afternoon to cut the ribbon on the SIU Center for Family Medicine and SIU Medicine's Physician Assistant Program, both located in the new building constructed at 300 W. Oak St., just north of the hospital.
Southern Illinois Healthcare funded the new facility and is leasing the building to SIU Medicine. The construction plan was developed as SIU's family medicine clinic began to outgrow its space in the professional office building connected to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. The physician assistant program, currently housed on the SIU campus, also will move into the new facility.
"SIH is thrilled to assist SIU with this modern, new facility. Training residents and physician assistants in the same location will lead to more opportunities for cross-training and collaboration among the SIU teams and the medical staff at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale just across the street," said SIH President and CEO Rex Budde.
"The SIU School of Medicine is a community-based medical school, and we are dependent on our community partners," said Dean and Provost Jerry Kruse. "Our partnership with SIH and the Carbondale community means better health care education and better health care for the people in our southern Illinois region."
The center is also home to an accredited family medicine residency program, which provides learners with comprehensive training in diverse medical fields, including pediatrics, behavioral health, surgery and geriatrics. The program also offers advanced training in sports medicine through its fellowship program.
SIU Center for Family Medicine also administers the physician assistant program. Like the medical school, the program uses problem-based learning, a unique format aided by simulated patients and small group discussions. SIU Medicine pioneered the approach that is now widely used by medical schools and physician assistant programs throughout the world.