Meharry Medical College set to boost enrollment with addition of new learning, living facility
The medical college hopes to produce even more doctors to help address the shortage of healthcare professionals.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - There’s a new living and learning facility on the campus of Meharry Medical College.
Constellation Place is nestled between 12th Avenue and Morena Street and it’s the school’s first new building in 10 years.
“We thought that it symbolizes the trajectory that Meharry is on. Where we are actually shooting for the stars. It’s also going to house caring and future stars in health care, research, and public health,” said Dr. James Hildreth, President & CEO of Meharry Medical College.
Inside Constellation Place, there are 126 apartments on six levels. There’s a fitness center, underground parking, retail space, and two large classrooms.
“There’s a wholesome feeling you get from being in a room with lots of light and the kids will be in these rooms for a lot of time. So, we’re trying to make them hospitable and conducive to learning as possible,” said Dr. Hildreth.
The residential facility is opening during a critical time in Nashville’s housing market. Dr. Hildreth believes the new building will offer future health professionals some relief as they navigate life through medical school.
“So, we do anything we can to control their costs. So, by us building the residential capacity and controlling the costs, we’re trying to do our part to keep those costs of attendance as low as possible,” said Dr. Hildreth.
The new living and learning facility is part of an even bigger plan as the college produces more doctors, dentists, researchers and public health professionals.
“As we grow the workforce, we need to make it more diverse. We know from a lot of different studies that when the healthcare workforce reflects the population they’re caring for, the outcomes are better,” said Dr. Hildreth.
Upon graduation, the additional students enrolled at Meharry will contribute to the decline in the nation’s shortage of health professionals.
“There are some counties in Tennessee where the ratio of physicians to population is less than 1 in 12,000,” said Dr. Hildreth.
To tackle the shortage, the plan is to build Meharry’s campus with another living and learning facility as well as a new research building.
“We intend to do our part to address the shortage by growing our enrollments so a building like this allows us to enroll more students and control their costs,” said Dr. Hildreth.
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