April 8, 2019

Integrated Health Education Campus Fosters Team-Based Approach to Care

Intentionally designed to maximize interaction among students of all health disciplines


Scheduled to welcome students in the summer of 2019, the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Health Education Campus is a 477,000-square-foot-building designed by the renowned Foster + Partners architectural firm. At its center is an 80-foot high atrium topped by an 18,000-square-foot skylight. This courtyard is 12,000 square feet, and will serve mainly as community space where students from the dental, medical and nursing schools can learn, study and dine together.


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Located on the corner of East 93rd Street between Chester and Euclid Avenues, the Samson Pavilion is among the first fully integrated health education campuses in the country. The building has 26 state-of-the-future classrooms, all equipped with digital technology and touchscreen capability to enhance learning. There is a 4,800-square-foot lecture hall with a 40-foot-high LED video wall, and a 7,000-square-foot auditorium. Additionally, there are 56 small group rooms, each with a 7-foot touch-enabled display.

The Simulation Center contains 20 exam rooms and four acute care spaces, each featuring cameras and microphones for training and recording. The center also offers a Physician Assessment Teaching Lab, a Clinical Teaching Bed Lab, and a Flight Nursing Simulator and Critical Care Transport space.

For Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, the new campus is “a giant step up.” As Dr. Mihaljevic says, the Health Education Campus “is a really beautiful mixture of wonderful aesthetics [with the] function and functionality that we desire. The architecture doesn’t provide just an environment. It really fosters the right behavior and the right flow through the building. Foster + Partners are known for doing so. They have assisted us historically in the design of quite a few buildings at Cleveland Clinic. That partnership has been ongoing and very fruitful.”


Designed for informal interaction

The Health Education Campus, a collaboration between Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Cleveland Clinic, is designed to facilitate interprofessional education. These interdisciplinary interactions will take place not only in the building’s classrooms and lecture halls, but also in simulation spaces, dining areas and other common spaces.

“From the very beginning, we thought about what it would take to create the kind of educational place that we were seeking—not just a physical space, [though] that’s critically important, but also a space that would foster the kinds of interactions that we were hoping would take place in the Health Education Campus,” says Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder. “It was, from the very beginning, designed with that in mind.

“There are a lot of spaces that were created with the thought of interaction,” she continues. “There’s a large atrium. There are stairs in the corners of the building where people will definitely run into each other—where spontaneous combustion, as we like to call it, can take place. … There aren’t separate lounges for medical students or dental students; there are student lounges and shared spaces all over. [Additionally,] there will be […] formal interactions in [the] interprofessional courses that our faculty will teach.”


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