Published 05/16/14

Groundbreaking for School of Health Sciences

Special guests joined President and Mrs. Machtley, center, in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the University's new School of Health Sciences. The new building will be the home of the master's degree program in physician assistant studies.

University breaks ground on School of Health Sciences

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University is answering the national call for health professionals and continuing Bryant’s 150-year tradition of continuous evolution by breaking ground today on a Physician Assistant Learning Center for its new School of Health Sciences.

"People will look to this day when we boldly entered the health services sector."

The new facility will be located on Bryant’s 428-acre campus and will serve as the home for its Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program (MSPAS), launched earlier this year. The introduction of the School of Health Sciences and the debut of the physician assistant program mark Bryant’s strategic and significant entry into health care education and training. Building on the University’s nationally recognized programs in business, these initiatives are expected to include health care management and health care policy, in addition to clinical programs.

“In the history of every institution there are certain watershed events,” Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley said at the groundbreaking ceremonies. “In the future people will look to this day when we boldly entered the health services sector, forging strategic partnerships with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Care New England Health System, and Southcoast Health System, and using our core business skills in an industry that accounts for 17 percent of the GDP.

“Health care sits at the heart of the U.S. economy,” said Machtley. “We’re positioning our programs so that our students can take advantage of the very best career opportunities in this sector, and to make positive and lasting change in our health care system.”

The physician assistant program began accepting applications in April and the inaugural class of 32 students will begin the 27-month program in January 2015.

Among other highlights, the new school will include two physician assistant classrooms and state-of-the-art clinical simulation laboratories. A two-story glass curtain wall on the north and east elevations will provide abundant natural light.

Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. There are approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from 33 states and 85 countries. Bryant University regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, Forbes and Barron’s.

Bryant University has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The University anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2015, pending provisional accreditation in September 2014. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation standards. The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received.