A New Educational Mission: Medical Access for All

Sam Houston State University, a member of the Texas State University System, is officially taking a new step in expanding its degree offerings and answering a call for improved healthcare needs in East Texas. A proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine to be located in Conroe, Texas, now has an architecture firm leading the project. Page was awarded the prime architectural and engineering contract in June of 2018 and is working in association with The SLAM Collaborative, a nationally recognized medical school planning and architecture firm. Engineering is underway.

Due to the state’s geographic size and population clusters, rural healthcare access in Texas is limited. The US Rural Health Report Card compares states with rural counties in the categories of mortality, quality of life and access to care and the most recent figures show that 80 counties in Texas have merely five or fewer doctors and 35 counties have no doctor at all.

Sam Houston State University envisions graduates of its school of medicine playing a role in emphasizing wellness through health promotion and disease prevention by integrating the patient into the healthcare process as a partner. While osteopathic doctors can be found in all types of environments and specialties, the majority follow the osteopathic tradition of primary care.

The 107,000 square foot facility is to be constructed on an auxiliary site less than fifty miles from the SHSU main campus. Instructional spaces intended to support students’ first two years of pre-clinical instruction, research, academic programs, and student life include a teaching theater, a large active learning classroom, case-based learning team rooms, a gross anatomy lab, skills lab, and standardized patient and simulation suites.

Page will provide pre-planning and development of project-specific design criteria to support SHSU's decision-making process to confirm site restrictions and development options. Then, working with the Construction Manager-at-Risk, Vaughn Construction, Page will develop contract documents for construction. Substantial completion is anticipated by December of 2019.

The firm's most recently completed medical school project is The Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The first ground-up medical school at a Tier One public university in almost 50 years, the Dell Medical School is part of a master plan for a new medical district in Austin on which Page also worked. The firm is pleased to again play a role in advancing healthcare delivery through design that makes lives better.