Training center opens in School of Medicine

Sept. 30, 2010, 3:04 a.m.

The Stanford School of Medicine on Wednesday opened the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, which the school expects will help transform the way in which physicians are trained.

About 300 people attended the dedication ceremony on Alumni Green, adjacent to the new building. A $90 million project, it faces Campus Drive, nestled between the Beckman Center and Fairchild Building in the medical school complex.

Philip Pizzo, dean of the School of Medicine, said on his first visit to Stanford to interview for the dean’s position, none of the cab drivers he asked knew where on campus the Medical School was. The 120,000-square-feet Li Ka Shing Center raises the school’s physical profile.

In their remarks, Pizzo, University President John Hennessy and donor Li Ka-Shing extolled the virtues of the five-story building, which features several interactive and technologically advanced teaching tools for doctors.

“It is not only the building of the future,” Pizzo said. “It is an identity for the School of Medicine.”

The center will serve as the hub of educational activities for medical students and experienced clinicians alike who want to undertake experiential and team-based approaches to learning.

The ground floor houses the 28,000-square-foot Hon Mai and Joseph Goodman Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning. The facility features a fully simulated hospital with programmable mannequins that bleed, breathe and talk, according to Associate Dean David Gaba. Physicians can use these mannequins, as well as individual simulation devices, to test their management of almost any clinical condition, he said.

Li Ka-Shing, the building’s primary benefactor, is a Hong Kong entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is also the chairman of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, which had contributed $37 million to medical research and programs at Stanford since 1983 before building the center. The center represents the third major collaboration between the foundation and the University.

Li, whose second son attended Stanford as an undergraduate, expressed his fondness for the University in his speech, translated from Chinese by an interpreter.

“Lives have been enriched here, ennobled with a sense of service,” Li said. “Today, with the dedication of this building, I am now a part of this university. For that I am most happy and very honored.”

Those present expressed their gratitude for Li’s generosity. Kristin Goldthorpe, a project manager at the medical school, said the opening of the center represents a literal break from the past.

“We used to be in the Alway Building,” Goldthorpe said. By moving, “we went from 1959 to 2010–literally a move to the twenty-first century. It’s an honor to work in such a great building.”

Correction: In an earlier version of this report, The Daily failed to attribute details of the Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning to Associate Dean David Gaba, who provided those details in a news release from the Stanford School of Medicine.

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