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22 February 2013
Deakin University’s commitment to the health workforce needs of rural and regional Australia has taken a step forward with the opening today (22 February) of a new $53million building on its Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.
The Regional Community Health Hub (REACH), opened by Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips on behalf of Premier Ted Baillieu, joins the Deakin Medical School as part of a regional health and medical education and research precinct at Waurn Ponds. The precinct will also include the soon-to-be constructed Epworth/Deakin Teaching Hospital.
Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said she was delighted that Mr Rich-Phillips could join the University community in formally opening the REACH building.
“We are grateful to the State Government for the $7million it provided to enable us to develop this much needed facility,” Professor den Hollander said.
“REACH completes another step towards Deakin achieving its vision of a world class health and research precinct to serve the communities of Geelong and regional Victoria.
“We believe this development will bring opportunities for people in rural and regional communities by delivering new health programs in partnership with industry and health professionals to address one of Australia’s wicked problems, the significant health workforce shortages which confront rural and regional Australia.”
The 8000m2 REACH building is home to Deakin’s new optometry and exercise and sports science programs and will provide a significant expansion of teaching and laboratory facilities for health and science students in Geelong. The building will also be home to Deakin Health Online – an innovative e-learning service linking Deakin with health practitioners responsible for clinical training in regional health services.
The building includes a 200-seat lecture theatre, tutorial and seminar rooms, simulation centres, laboratories, gymnasiums, and office and student facilities, all fully equipped with state-of-the-art AV and ICT equipment, which allow online delivery of interactive clinical teaching programs to healthcare training sites throughout the region and beyond.
Deakin’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health) Professor Brendan Crotty said REACH was an important addition to the University’s rural and regional health programs, which complemented significant investment by State and Commonwealth governments in regional hospitals, general practices and ambulatory healthcare services.
“We are looking forward to working with our clinical partners to improve the quality of health care in Geelong and Western Victoria,” Professor Crotty said.
Deakin Media Relations
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Deakin's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, looks on while Professor of Optometry Harrison Weisinger takes a look at Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips' eyes.
Images of the REACH building