Defining the future of health care education: UTMB celebrates Health Education Center groundbreaking

May 22, 2017, 07:55 AM by Simone Parker
HEC Groundbreaking263 copy
A ceremonial groundbreaking on April 7 recognized the official start of construction on UTMB’s $90.4 million Health Education Center (HEC). A group of enthusiastic supporters, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors, gathered for the event at the building site on UTMB’s Galveston Campus.

The ceremony was hosted by UTMB President Dr. David Callender, who said the center will advance UTMB’s mission of training tomorrow’s health care workforce.

“The HEC will enable UTMB to accommodate our increasing enrollments and train future generations of health care professionals using the most advanced technology in an interdisciplinary environment,” said Callender. “We consider the center an emblem of UTMB’s continued service to Texas, particularly as the state faces critical shortages of health care providers at a time when the number of patients needing care continues to rise.”

HEC_photo1 copyAmong the speakers were Leslie Carruth, associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs with The University of Texas System; Dr. Danny Jacobs, executive vice president, provost and dean of UTMB’s School of Medicine; Texas Senator Larry Taylor of Friendswood; and Alex M. Cranberg, former University of Texas System Regent.

Sen. Taylor presented a proclamation honoring the HEC groundbreaking on behalf of Governor Greg Abbott. The event also featured a ceremonial first dig by UTMB leaders and guests and a check presentation, recognizing more than $800,000 in contributions received from students, faculty and staff in support of the $50 million Innovations in Mind fundraising initiative, which includes the HEC among its priorities.

The state-of-the-art landmark facility— the most significant addition to the Galveston Campus’ education infrastructure in about 40 years—will bring students from all four schools—Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Graduate Biomedical Sciences—together to collaborate through interprofessional patient care scenarios, take part in active learning strategies, and learn to work as a health care team. The approximately 160,000-square-foot HEC will feature five floors of new space, including simulation areas, learning studios, meeting spaces and a café.

“The Health Education Center is an important advancement not only for UTMB and for the UT System, but for all of Texas,” said Carruth. “The mission for both UTMB and the UT System are centered on improving the lives of others.”

The HEC is scheduled to open to students in 2019. For the latest information on the facility, visit the Innovations In Mind website at