top story ISU-Meridian sees need for bioskills learning center firstname.lastname@example.org HollyBeechMP Jan 10, 2014 (…) Courtesy ISU-Meridian In October, a group from Idaho visited the Applebaum Surgical Learning Center in Detroit — a similar concept to the bioskills learning center that Idaho State University-Meridian is considering building. From left: Clint Sievers with Hummel Architects, John Julian with the Idaho Division of Public Works (blue shirt), Robin Dodson with Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center, Brian Atkinson with ISU information technology service and Doug Simpson with ISU facilities services. Courtesy ISU-Meridian This rendering by Hummel Architects shows Idaho State University-Meridian’s tentative plan to build a bioskills learning center in Meridian — the first of its kind in Idaho. The center would provide space for training students and medical professionals in the latest medical devices and advances. Adam Eschbach/IPT Mountain View Seniors Courney Buckland, 18, front, and Erika Endicott, 17, place capsules filled with aspirin and lactose into capsule fillers during a Pharmacy Technicians Program taken at Idaho State University Meridian Campus. The program is one of the professional technical programs offered in the school district. Treasure Valley health care providers often have to go out of state for training on medical advances. But development brewing at Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center could change that.ISU is exploring the opportunity of building Idaho’s first bioskills learning center in Meridian. The center would be a place for medical companies to train students and practitioners in the latest health care tools and techniques.“We’ve seen a lot of interest in both facilities that exist here as well as those medical device companies that would spend money to rent the facility,” The CORE Chairman Earl Sullivan said. Story continues below video × Advertisement The CORE, a coalition of Idaho medical agencies, is a key player in paving the way for a bioskills center.The benefits of a local center would be multifold, Sullivan said. Not only would it cut down on expenses for local hospitals and clinics — including the cost of sending physicians out of state for training — but it would bring health care providers and medical device companies to Idaho for conferences, boosting tourism in Idaho.“These (centers) become huge economic engines for an area,” said Robin Dodson, ISU-Meridian advisor to the academic dean and director of pharmacy services.Visiting practitioners would potentially bring their families, stay in hotels, visit restaurants and explore the Treasure Valley while they’re here for a conference, Sullivan said.“I believe that this is a great opportunity for our medical community to both keep our economic dollars in the state of Idaho as well as bring both medical and tourism dollars to the state from outside,” he said.THE DEMANDRight now, ISU is doing its “due diligence” to make sure a bioskills center is a viable option, ISU-Meridian Associate Vice President Bessie Katsilometes said. The Idaho State Board of Education has given the university approval to seek resources for the center.Bioskills learning centers across the country are in high demand, Sullivan said.In October, ISU-Meridian staff members toured the Beaumont Applebaum Surgical Learning Center in Detroit, which is booked through September and hosts more than 1,000 events a year, Dodson said.“So many of our partners in the Valley here are supportive of what we’re attempting to do, not only with the A&P lab, but also with the bioskills center,” he said.The bioskills center would tie in with ISU-Meridian’s new anatomy and physiology lab, set to open in January 2015, and to new physical therapy and occupational therapy programs ISU plans to bring to Meridian in 2016.“The bioskills part was always going to be a part of (the complex) a little bit later on, and what we found working with the various disciplines is there’s probably a great need to have that bioskills facility up and running as fast as we can get (through) the approval process,” Dodson said.The bioskills center, including the labs for physical and occupational therapy, would be 5,000 square feet and cost an estimated $3 million, Katsilometes said.The CORE is working to build partnerships and raise financial support.WHO BENEFITS? A bioskills center would not only benefit practitioners and college students, Katsilometes said, but training sessions could be broadcast to high schools, colleges and universities across the state.Students could, for example, compare healthy organs with those affected by fatty tissue or cigarette smoke, she said. Experienced practitioners could learn how to use new surgical tools.“It really is something that’s much beyond a single university,” she said.Local professionals in the medical, dental and even veterinarian communities have shown interest, Dodson sad.MEETING A NEEDISU-Meridian hopes to offer a physical therapy doctorate degree and an occupational therapy master’s degree by 2016, Katsilometes said.These programs are offered at the Pocatello campus, but there’s not enough room to meet demand. In the last two admission cycles, according to an ISU report, about 200 people applied to fill 24 to 26 seats in the physical therapy program. Students applying for the occupational therapy program were also turned away.The need for training in these fields is twofold, Katsilometes said. Not only does the aging population require more services, but practitioners are also aging out of the industry. About a quarter of Idaho physicians are 60 or older, she said.Expanding the PT and OT programs to Meridian will also open the door for ISU-Meridian to open a physical therapy clinic, providing affordable care to the community and training for students. More from this section Benefit concert seeks to raise money for brain cancer patient, family Posted: March 27, 2017 Frankie's Java cafe for sale in downtown Meridian Posted: March 27, 2017 Dog of the Week: Wilbur Posted: March 27, 2017 Ada County public safety agencies launch use of PulsePoint app Posted: March 27, 2017 Inmate dies at Idaho maximum security prison Posted: March 26, 2017 Tags Isu-meridian Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center Bioskills Learning Center Core Chairman Earl Sullivan HollyBeechMP Follow HollyBeechMP Close Get email notifications on HollyBeechMP daily! Your notification has been saved. There was a problem saving your notification. Whenever HollyBeechMP posts new content, you'll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link. Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items. Save Manage followed notifications Follow HollyBeechMP Close Followed notifications Please log in to use this feature Log In Don't have an account? Sign Up Today Comments Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything. Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person. Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Latest E-Edition Meridian Press Read the latest edition of the Meridian Press in our e-edition format, which combines the familiarity of the printed-paper format with the convenience of reading on your phone, tablet or desktop computer from anywhere. Issues prior to August 18, 2016 YouReport This is your chance to be the reporter. Tell us what's going on with you, your kids, and your community. Share your child's latest achievements, talk about that pothole that never gets fixed, or just speak your mind on what is happening in your community. Submit Your Articles Share the news that is important to you and your community. Post articles about local events, sports teams, community organizations, and more! Submit Your Photos Do you have a great local photo that you want to share with the world? Add it here!