Trine, Parkview partner on new facility to expand Fort Wayne health education
FORT WAYNE — Working in close partnership with Parkview Health, Trine University will greatly expand its capacity to help meet healthcare needs in Allen County and the surrounding region through a new $40 million, 120,000-square-foot academic facility housing programs in its College of Health Professions.
Trine and Parkview will apply for rezoning of a 10.6-acre parcel on the north side of Union Chapel Road near Interstate 69 to C-1 (Professional Office and Personal Services) to accommodate the new building.
Trine plans to begin construction on the four-story facility, which will be designated Trine University Fort Wayne, as soon as all necessary approvals are received, with the building projected to open in Fall 2024.
Once fully operational, Trine Fort Wayne will employ 100 faculty and staff and serve nearly 700 students in Trine’s College of Health Professions (CHP), which currently includes its physical therapy, physician assistant, speech-language pathology, nursing and surgical technology programs. The new space will allow CHP to add new programs including occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, medical science and emergency medical sciences.
“With healthcare delivery needs increasing across the nation and certainly in our region, we applaud Trine’s leadership and this bold approach to shaping the education of our future healthcare professionals,” said Dena Jacquay, Chief Administrative Officer for 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 complement 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 laboratories, the new facility will feature an innovative Simulated Patient Care Center (SimCenter) including mock surgery and Emergency Room suites and exam and patient rooms. The building also will contain ample resources for student support, including a library, bookstore, gathering area, academic support and counseling services.
“With its leading-edge academic programs and facilities, Trine Fort Wayne will transform healthcare training in northeast Indiana, further establishing Fort Wayne as a leading center for healthcare and for provider education,” said Trine University President Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. “We are excited and proud to partner with Parkview Health to make this investment in the health and economic vitality of Fort Wayne, Allen County and this region, and look forward to the dividends it will pay in the years to come.”
Trine will move its physical therapy, physician assistant and surgical technology programs from their current location in Trine’s Health Sciences Education Center on the Parkview Randallia campus, and the speech-language pathology program from its Fort Wayne Education Center on Dupont Road.
“We have been grateful for Parkview’s generous support for 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 at that location,” said Brooks. “We are excited to expand our alliance with Parkview to benefit not only both our organizations, but the region as a whole.”
The need for trained healthcare professionals is becoming more acute as the U.S. population continues to age. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are currently 54 million people age 65 and older in the United States, with older adults projected to outnumber children under age 18 by 2034.
Continued growth in the senior population will only exacerbate the need for healthcare workers, with job openings in the field already expected to grow at a much higher rate than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) already anticipates 31% job growth for physician assistants and 21% job growth for physical therapists in the decade ending in 2030.
Besides improving the region’s quality of life by enlarging the pool of trained healthcare providers, growth in Trine’s College of Health Professions will enhance the local economy by producing more high-salaried professionals who will live and work in the region. The BLS estimates current annual median pay at more than $114,000 for physician assistants and more than $91,000 for physical therapists.
Trine University founded the College of Health Professions in 2013 at the Parkview Randallia location. The CHP is home to the university’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, as well as other graduate and undergraduate degree programs preparing students for careers in healthcare.Last Updated: 08/08/2022