MERIDIAN, ID – Students at the Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center are studying anatomy this fall and exploring the function of the human body in a state-of-the art laboratory complex never before seen in Idaho.
The L.S. and Aline W. Skaggs Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories celebrated its grand opening Sept. 24.
“This facility is the only one if its kind in Idaho and will forever change the way we teach health science education,” said ISU President Arthur Vailas in his remarks to an audience that included community and business leaders, educators, state lawmakers and medical professionals.
Construction of the $6-million facility—a combination of state and private money— began in June 2014. The Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories contain a cadaver lab with 12 stations, a bioskills learning center with eight stations, a virtual anatomy and physiology lab equipped with 3D technology, and an anatomy learning lab.
“Idaho is in critical need of primary and mid-level health care providers—particularly in our rural areas—and education facilities like this will help us meet those needs,” said Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the event’s guest speaker.
In 2013 and 2014, The Idaho Legislature appropriated $3 million toward construction of the laboratories, and ISU is securing the remaining portion from private donors, including The ALSAM Foundation, the charitable trust of the late Sam Skaggs and his late wife Aline.
“A training facility like this one is critical to the education of Idaho’s next generation of health professionals. I was delighted so many in our community stepped forward with such generous support, especially St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus hospitals and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health,” said Susie Balukoff, co-chair of the fundraising campaign and a former ISU Foundation board member.
Other donors include Delta Dental of Idaho, Capital Matrix and The Eugene Magelby Foundation.
ISU officials say the complex will provide an opportunity for seamless education—from high school students learning the effects of tobacco on lungs to health professionals seeking specialized training in new medical procedures.
Through distance-learning technology, the Meridian labs can be linked to ISU classrooms in Pocatello and to high school classrooms throughout the state.