Harold Alfond Foundation Gift Positions The University of New England as a Health Professions Education Hub

Harold Alfond Foundation Gift Positions The University of New England as a Health Professions Education Hub

Rendering of the new facility that will house UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) and the Institute for Interprofessional Education and Practice (IIPEP) on the Portland Campus.

In October of 2020, the Harold Alfond Foundation gifted $30 million to The University of New England. This gift supports the design and construction of a new 110,000 square foot medical education facility on the Portland Campus that will house UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), relocating them from the Biddeford campus. This facility will also house the new Institute for Interprofessional Education and Practice (IIPEP). SMRT Architects and Engineers is thrilled to be partnered with The University of New England for this exciting endeavor. An in depth article was published in the UNE Magazine, Fall 2021 edition, describing the scope of the project.

The relocation of the medical school will establish on UNE’s Portland Campus a health professions education hub unprecedented in Maine and New England, helping UNE realize its interprofessional health education mission to bring health disciplines together on one campus where students will learn to work across disciplines in integrated teams. The cutting-edge facilities will allow UNE to significantly increase the college’s class size and will create a digital health teaching center to focus on telehealth and digital health technologies, such as wearable devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, and health data discovery and application — all critical in meeting the needs of rural residents living in isolated areas away from population centers. The new building will be adjacent to an expanded patient simulation center that can accommodate large cohorts of student teams engaging in case studies and collaborative learning, establishing a campus that will fully integrate all of UNE’s professional health care education programs with its health-related Centers for Excellence, including those in Collaborative Education, Aging and Health, Digital Health, and Public Health.

UNE Magazine, Fall 2021

UNE Magazine spoke with several individuals who are deeply involved with this endeavor. Their statements display their excitement for this ground breaking project:

“We’re all so grateful to the Alfond Foundation for the opportunity to create something special. Because this isn’t just putting up a building. We’re creating an educational experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else.”

Karen Pardue, PH.D, RN

Provost, UNE

“We’re going to be able to look back on this 10 years from now and say, “Wow, look how that changed Maine, how it changed the University of New England, how it improved our relationships with our clinical partners, how it advanced interprofessional education…”

Ellen Ridley

Assistant Vice President of Advancement Strategy, UNE

“One of the things that we’ve been very, very conscious of is the need to integrate COM into the fabric of the Portland Campus. So the location of the building, the physical connection of the building to Innovation Hall, will allow for that synergy and the cross-pollination.”

Al Thibeault

Vice President for University Operations, UNE

“You also need periodically to step back and dream big – do something bold and transformational for UNE. And really, more importantly transformational for the impact that we have on the state and the region.”

James Herbert, PH.D

President, UNE

SMRT is thrilled to be a part of this team, helping UNE to reach their goals. Our team members look forward to continuing the relationship with UNE, and are excited to transform the footprint of their Portland Campus, creating opportunities for years to come.

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