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Heritage Hall ready for students, faculty

Ohio University medical students will begin training this fall in a custom-built facility designed to emphasize collaborative learning styles, environmental sustainability and personal wellness for students, faculty and staff.  

Heritage Hall, the new home for the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, opens to classes for the first time this month. The new medical education facility is located on West Union Street, anchoring Ohio University’s newly seeded Union Street Green.

“Heritage Hall serves as an embodiment and reflection of the innovative curriculum changes taking place in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Ohio University President Hugh Sherman said. “This state-of-the art academic health center expands opportunities for teaching our students the principles of osteopathic medicine, and will help to better prepare our medical graduates to serve their communities.”

Heritage Hall aerial image

The building will feature flexible small-group learning spaces, active-learning labs and integrated videoconferencing technology, allowing for easy connections with the Heritage College’s Dublin and Cleveland campuses and clinical partners.

“As we continue to transform our curriculum for the modern era and beyond, having a facility that is highly flexible and forward facing to deliver our curriculum is essential,” Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Executive Dean and OHIO Chief Medical Affairs Officer Ken Johnson, D.O., said. “We are grateful for the support of our generous donors, including our partners at the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, as we work together to transform primary care for an even larger impact in Ohio.”

The building was made possible by a transformational $105 million award from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, which included $21 million allocated for construction of the new Athens medical education facility. The Heritage Hall name recognizes that support.

“The naming of the facility, Heritage Hall, will perpetuate and honor the heritage of osteopathic medicine by creating new and innovative ways for future physicians to empathically find health and healing for those they serve,” said Terri Donlin Huesman, OHF president/CEO. “This facility, coupled with other Heritage College priorities, will help solidify the college’s position as a national leader in medicine, education, research and community service.”

Heritage Hall opening

Some community outreach has already taken place in Heritage Hall. Earlier this year, the facility served as a COVID-19 max vaccination site, where more than 19,000 vaccinations were administered in partnership with the Athens City-County Health Department and OhioHealth.

Along with a first-floor café that is open to the public, Heritage Hall features lots of natural light, a fitness center and a mindfulness room to create an optimal learning and working environment. In addition, the building has space for team-based activities and learning spaces that are more versatile than traditional lecture halls.

August 24, 2021
Staff reports