Beautiful weather greeted the field of regional leaders, health care providers, College of Southern Maryland (CSM) officials and guests during the ceremonial groundbreaking for CSM’s new Center for Health Sciences at the college’s Regional Hughesville Campus Aug. 27. The center – projected to be completed in March 2021 – will be approximately 50,000 square feet, designed to LEED standards and will feature specialized health sciences laboratories for CSM’s programs in nursing, emergency medical services, rehabilitation, wellness and fitness, massage therapy, pharmacy technician, medical assisting, health information management and medical coding, and medical laboratory technology.
“The college begins a new era of health care in Southern Maryland with the groundbreaking for our new Center for Health Sciences building at this Regional Hughesville Campus,” shared CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “This ceremony is truly a ground-breaking event. For more than 60 years, the College of Southern Maryland has played a significant role in educating and training the future workforce.”
“The college has been offering practical nursing training since 1975, and this year, 2019,” she continued, “represents the 40th anniversary of the college’s associate degree in nursing program. We look forward to continuing this strong tradition and to train our health care workers well into the future within this space at the Regional Hughesville Campus. The Center for Health Sciences will be regional in nature, central in location, and accessible for all whom we serve.”
“It’s incredible to see the growth and building in this space that is now the Regional Hughesville Campus in such a short amount of time,” added CSM Board of Trustee Chair Ted Harwood. “It was five years ago, spring 2014, when the board of trustees moved forward with the purchase of this beautiful piece of property, for the ideal location for the college’s fourth campus as a regional campus. We envisioned these 74 acres as a place to efficiently and effectively serve the residents of Southern Maryland for many decades beyond what the CSM represents today.”
Harwood said that the trustees are thrilled to have the master plan – designed by Grimm & Parker Architects – moving forward to provide a centralized campus designed to create a sense of community.
“It is so much more accessible for all of our students across our region.” he added. “The trustees are looking forward to CSM providing Southern Maryland and Washington area employers with a workforce who possess the skills and attitudes to meet their employers’ needs, and to continue working with our partners to address the health care demands for new jobs to the economy in the future.”
Joining in the morning’s ceremony to offer greetings were Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission Dr. James Fielder; Southern Maryland Delegation Chair Delegate C.T. Wilson, Charles County Delegation Chair Delegate Edith Patterson, Charles County Board of County Commissioners’ President Reuben B. Collins III, St. Mary’s County Board of County Commissioners’ President James R. “Randy” Guy and Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ President Thomas “Tim” Hutchins.
“Your presence here today is indicative of the continually strong support that we so greatly appreciate,” Murphy added. “It is through our collaboration with our state and county partners that we are able to create the synergy of success which makes our community that much stronger and boosts a healthy economy.”
Fielder’s announcement that “this is a tremendous day,” was met by applause from the packed room at the Center for Trades and Energy Training – the first phase and building at the Regional Hughesville Campus.
The Center for Health Sciences will mark Phase II.
Wilson echoed Fielder’s remarks, adding, “This is a good day for Southern Maryland and even a better day for a Southern Marylander. Congratulations to all who put their hands on this. It is a shining example of what we can do when we work together to do something great.”
“CSM takes of care of the needs of our population’s increasing demand for highly able and committed health professionals,” offered Patterson. “Attend any graduation and those of you who have attended know what I am going to say. Winter or spring, you will visually witness the number of health professionals and graduates who have purposefully chosen this college. They are spirited – first of all. They are smart, they have been selected and they are ready to take on the world.”
“CSM has been an economic catalyst for the county for more than 60 years by being an important link between public education and the workforce and preparing our younger generations for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Collins. “As our population continues to grow older, the need persists for skilled health care professionals. CSM works to meet this persistent demand and has many accomplishments to be proud of. Some recent accomplishments relating to health care education include: The medical lab tech program achieving the highest national accreditation award, and students being awarded prestigious recognition by the Maryland Nurses Association.”
The St. Mary’s County Board of County Commissioners took the opportunity to present Murphy with a proclamation during the event to commemorate the region’s support.
“As we break ground for the Center for Health Sciences, we are building a future of unparalleled education opportunities,” said Guy. “Together we have all agreed that investing in the centralized location for health care-related study is a worthwhile priority. We will be preparing students who are well-educated, highly skilled and ready to work.”
Hutchins recalled for the crowd, when two decades ago, as a graduate of then Charles County Community College, he returned to CSM to deliver the keynote address at the January 2000 graduation.
“In my remarks that evening, I recall speaking directly to the graduates’ future successes and to a specific duty of the academic society that they were about to join; that is the duty to humankind,” Hutchins shared. “Thus, we celebrate today another new addition to CSM’s educational acumen, which continues to strengthen the entire region economically and provides our population with a local world class college.”
Hutchins went on to call CSM “an inseparable part of Southern Maryland’s great heritage and key component of who we are as a region.”
According to CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Eileen Abel, the new center will encompass degree programs like nursing, emergency medical services, rehabilitation, wellness and fitness, massage therapy, pharmacy technician, medical assisting, health information management and medical coding, and medical laboratory technology.
“The Health Pathway at CSM offers such an extensive choice of medical training for a number of different careers,” said Abel. “Some health care professionals such as nurses, health information managers, and medical laboratory technicians can expect to get started in their careers after two years; others like medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, and phlebotomists can become certified in a matter of weeks or months. It is for these students that this health pathway has been designed.”
“I am proud to be a graduate of this institution,” said special guest speaker Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Dawn Yeitrakis, MS, RN, NEA-BC, CEN and CSM ’96 alumnus. “The foundation I received at the College of Southern Maryland shaped who I am as a professional and who I am as a person.”
Described by the architects as a forward-thinking and flexible science building, the center will include a clinical simulation center, classrooms, computer lab, collaborative learning spaces, Health Sciences faculty and staff offices, a student success suite and a large multipurpose meeting room.
To view photos of the event, visit https://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/19hsgbreak
Learn more about the Center for Health Sciences at https://www.csmd.edu/about/locations/regional-campus/health-sciences/