Kansas City University's Center for Medical Education Innovation receives distinguished award for architecture

By Elizabeth Alex Jan 10, 2024
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The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design has recognized Kansas City University’s (KCU) Center for Medical Education Innovation (CMEI) with a prestigious American Architecture Award.

The 56,000-square-foot CMEI puts KCU at the forefront of clinical education through access to technology-rich, light-filled labs. Addressing critical programmatic needs for the campus, the highly transparent design transforms the CMEI into a showcase of discovery and innovation, with features including the simulation deck, adaptable clinical skills suite, the osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, and a multi-purpose forum.

The forum informs the campus culture — a place for lectures, studying or socializing. The LEED-certified facility at the heart of KCU’s campus also serves as a regional training destination for simulation users in the greater Kansas City area. The building was designed to enhance enrollment and retention, allowing students to share experiences and develop mastery of the curriculum.

“The CMEI is much more than a building,” said Marc B. Hahn, president and CEO of KCU. “It redefines our campus, our neighborhood and the Kansas City medical community, just as the Center’s latest technology redefines medical education.”

The CMEI was a decade in the making, said Tim Saxe, associate vice president for campus planning and facilities at KCU. Prior to the opening of the CMEI, the facilities KCU utilized were dated and small. Saxe helped weave the process of identifying and accomplishing university goals, assembling a design and construction team that included Helix, CO Architects, JE Dunn Construction, Henderson Engineers, Walter P. Moore, Confluence and NV5.

“At the end of the day, it’s about getting talented people together working toward common goals, sharing information that’s needed to convey, and setting them up for success to go do what they do best,” Saxe said. “We’ve established a track record through all of our campus projects by doing just that.”

The facility has doubled KCU’s capacity in terms of exam and simulation rooms, but Saxe said the CMEI is much more, and the American Architecture Award proves that working with talented people who come together to solve problems and create opportunities has been key to its success.

“I’m proud of our architecture team and of their work on the project,” Saxe said. “This recognition shows the level of talent and expertise that we strive for at KCU, and it brings me joy to extend that notoriety to the University and our consulting teammates.”

In addition to the American Architecture Award for the CMEI, the state-of-the-art building also received a Merit Award from AIA Central States as well as Silver recognition in the Higher Education Category at the 2022 IIDA Mid-American Design Awards.

About Kansas City University

Kansas City University, founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private not-for-profit health sciences university with Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Biosciences and a College of Dental Medicine. The

College of Osteopathic Medicine is the fifth largest medical school in the U.S., the ninth most impactful medical school for primary care for the nation, the tenth most affordable of private medical colleges, and the leading producer of physicians for the State of Missouri. The College of Osteopathic Medicine has two sites strategically located on the University's campuses in Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri, to address the growing needs of both urban and rural populations. The University offers multiple graduate degrees; a doctor of osteopathic medicine; a doctor of psychology in clinical psychology; a master of arts in bioethics; a master of science in the biomedical sciences; a master of business administration in partnership with Rockhurst University; a new master of public health in partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and seated the first doctor of dental medicine students in 2023.

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