D'Youville University, Health Professions Hub

Delivering health, hope and optimism to Buffalo’s West Side

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The building was recognized as a "World-Changing Idea" by Fast Company in 2022.

Client
D'Youville University
Location
Buffalo, New York, United States
Size
59,600 square feet
Status
Completed 2021

D’Youville University’s Health Professions Hub is a medical education space positively reshaping the campus, the City of Buffalo, families and individual lives, today and in the decades to come. 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 converts 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 improves community access to healthcare services, introduces educational opportunities focused on breaking the cycle of chronic illness, prepares a new workforce to seize in-demand healthcare jobs, and supports a living-wage ecosystem for Buffalo’s West Side residents.

Dyouville Hero
The building features world-class community art with a mural from national artist Maya Hayuk titled The Tree of Y.

An enthusiastic welcome to the community

Architecturally speaking, the Health Professionals Hub signals a new chapter for the campus. Historically, the D’Youville's campus architecture and layout was remarkably “introverted” and physically closed to the surrounding community. The Hub is the exact inverse, with intentional siting and orientation that effectively transforms the campus by opening it up to its surrounding community more than ever before.

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The Hub's location and positioning signal to the community that it is a resource that welcomes and benefits all.

Healthcare and education resources in the building are designed to directly benefit Buffalo’s West Side community members and they were informed through extensive community engagement. Portions of the clinical components of the building were even accelerated to help residents during the early stages of the pandemic.

High-activity zones in the building are located on its exterior—with extensive windows and natural daylighting—to essentially put learning on display for the community. There are also dedicated spaces for community members to gather immediately outside the building. 

Testimonials

  • The Hub is a world-class structure, a testament for 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. It not only has a visual impact in beautifying our neighborhood, but much more importantly, it has a far-reaching social impact on our multicultural, underserved community.

    Lorrie Clemo President, D'Youville University

A DNA of wellness

The Hub’s success will be measured by the lives changed. Not only does the facility allow students to train for upwardly mobile careers that will change the trajectory of their lives, but it is also designed to help improve health outcomes for all within its reach. 

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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.

The building is a medical education center designed to support cross-disciplinary education. From physical therapy to nutrition and dietetics, customized training areas allow students and health professionals from myriad disciplines learn, connect and collaborate on specialized medical solutions. 

With top floors reserved for training and simulation, and lower floors home to external clinical services, the building offers a non-traditional learning cycle that is ever impactful. With many students who train at the Hub being residents of Buffalo’s West Side, the building provides an opportunity for their work to directly benefit their friends and families.

Collaborative design drives results

CannonDesign, in partnership with Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, worked to translate the university's vision for the building to be an integral part of the community and serve as a workforce development arm. The collaboration informed a strategy and program that empowers community members to strengthen their well-being through an integrated ecosystem of education, healthcare and workspaces, and creates opportunities for students to learn and practice their skills in simulated real-life scenarios. 

Our Blue Cottage team led an approach that was both quantitative and qualitative, incorporating stakeholder visioning, leadership interviews, evaluation and analysis, and recommendations on campus infrastructure and facilities. Among several key outcomes, the research and assessment informed the development of the Hub’s Interprofessional Simulation Center, a technologically advanced learning space that supports simulation curricula for several health profession degree programs. This unique typology is a critical tool for developing communication skills, clinical reasoning and critical thinking—thereby facilitating training that has the potential to improve patient outcomes exponentially.

Dyu Workplace Strategy
The design allows academic, health and workplace zones to all serve multiple functions.
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Gathering spaces can be used by students or community members for private meetings, socializing or larger group functions.

The Hub empowers D'Youville to graduate four times as many health professionals annually, helping address the region's health worker shortage.

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Testimonials

  • The Hub represents a vision truly befitting the City of Good Neighbors as its synergistic approach will benefit so many in our community. I applaud D'Youville for its inclusive, community-centered vision and look forward to the many health, quality-of-life, educational, professional development and economic development rewards that The Hub will generate.

    Sean Ryan NYS Assemblymember
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