Mel and Enid Zuckerman Center for Health and Medical Careers breaks ground at The Bridges
The Pima Joint Technical Education District's new center will offer local high school students education and experience to prepare them for careers in health care and medicine.
The Pima Joint Technical Education District broke ground on the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Center for Health and Medical Careers Thursday. The facility, which is expected to open next year, will provide local high school students with access to health, medical and veterinary science education opportunities. The site is located at the University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges.
JTED is a technological education district that partners with more than a dozen local school districts to provide high school students extracurricular technical training outside of their normal studies.
The new two-story, 50,000-square-foot center is the second addition to JTED's Innovative Learning Center campus at The Bridges and will house classroom, laboratory and clinical space for a variety of programs, including JTED's licensed nursing assistant, medical assistant, public health and veterinary science programs. Students can begin attending classes through JTED in their sophomore year of high school.
Speaking at the groundbreaking, University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said that when he first arrived in Tucson six years ago, one of his top priorities was developing a facility that would allow the local community – and the state as a whole –to benefit from an influx of trained health care professionals.
"The future is bright," Robbins said. "These students are going to go into the workforce, and they are going to become health care deliverers for all of us."
The realization of Robbins' vision was made possible in large part thanks to roughly $13 million raised by the community to fund the center's construction. Significant contributions were made to JTED by Mel and Enid Zuckerman, for whom the university's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is named, and the Zuckerman family. Mel Zuckerman died in March at age 94.
Donations also sponsored the Connie Hillman Family Foundation Community Health and Wellness Center and the Potoff Private Philanthropy Veterinary Sciences Center at JTED's Innovative Learning Center. Other contributions came from the Thomas R. Brown Family Private Foundation, Tucson philanthropist Jim Click, El Tour de Tucson, Tucson Medical Center, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Allison and Simon Heinz Trust and the Rotary Club of Tucson, among others.
"These gifts will not only help us resolve the critical shortage of health, medical and veterinary professionals in our community, but will also make innovative, holistic curriculum and advanced medical training tools available to high schools students pursuing careers in these areas," said Kathy Prather, Pima JTED superintendent and CEO.
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