Creating Health, Hope and Optimism in Buffalo’s West Side

D’Youville College, Health Professions Hub, Buffalo, NY

D’Youville College’s Health Professions Hub will confront two critical challenges in the Buffalo region when it opens in 2021. First, the city’s West Side community, rich with immigrants and refugees, is woefully underserved and faces complex challenges around limited access to care and prevalent poverty and food insecurity. Concurrently, the region anticipates a critical shortage of healthcare professionals in excess of 10,000 by 2024.

The Health Profession Hub will convert both of these challenges into opportunity as a “first-of-its-kind” health center featuring innovative learning spaces, a workforce center, extensive virtual training resources, and a clinic offering primary care, rehabilitation medicine, nutrition, nursing, pharmacy, and more. All at once, the building will improve community access to healthcare services, introduce educational opportunities focused on breaking the cycle of chronic illness, prepare a new workforce to seize in-demand healthcare jobs, and support a living-wage ecosystem for Buffalo’s West Side residents.

“The Hub will be a world-class structure that will be the future of healthcare and a beacon for preparing providers to deliver superior quality care to those in need, starting here on the West Side of Buffalo,” explains Dr. Lorrie Clemo, president of D’Youville College. “It will not only have visual impact in beautifying our neighborhood, but much more importantly, it will have far-reaching social impact on our multicultural, underserved community.”

To ensure the building offers educational experiences deeply relevant to future job opportunities, our team worked with D’Youville and its partner Catholic Health to shape the building’s spaces and pedagogy. Breakthrough virtual and simulation tools are infused throughout the project to enhance student understanding and outcomes.

What’s on the HORIZON for the health labor market?
Buffalo isn’t alone in facing critical healthcare professional shortages. By 2025, the US will need 2.5 million more healthcare workers than what is currently forecasted. We’ll need new design approaches to facilitate the
types of intensive learning opportunities and partnerships that can accelerate the time it takes people to obtain healthcare degrees and certifications.