Grand Opening

Grand Opening Week’s Events

By Campus News, Events

While Saturday, March 9th was our largest event for the public, there were also internal celebrations leading up to the grand opening of our new academic building. With the assistance of nearly 200 faculty, student, and staff volunteers, our campus hosted several events before the open house, including:

  • A “Community Partners Party”, for all the preceptors, business owners, city and county officials, chamber members, and other partners of Noorda-COM
  • An unveiling of the Noorda family wall—to honor the primary benefactors and stalwart supporters of our college
  • A gala for our founders, board members, donors, opinion leaders, and distinguished guests, featuring guided tours, dinner and remarks, a simulated car crash, and a drone show
  • A dedication ceremony for the Michael D. Elton Library and to recognize the generosity of Jo Searles and the Elton Family Foundation

Here’s a few photos from each event:

Recapping our Grand Opening

By Campus News

Saturday, March 9th will be remembered as the day Noorda-COM celebrated the opening of its new academic building with 1,500 family members, friends, volunteers, community members, government officials, founders, physicians, and other visitors!

This historic event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks by founders. Then, our doors opened for visitors to enjoy activities in practically every nook, cranny, and classroom.

In addition to offering a “mini med school” for children on the first floor, we repurposed 13 of our OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) rooms into escape rooms. Each room featured décor, clues, and a patient actor to interact with.

Participants solving a final clue in an OSCE escape room.

“Adults, kids, and everyone in between were so excited to ‘solve the mystery’ of the ‘ill’ patient,” explained Diane Gabriel, first-year student and escape room volunteer. “What many don’t realize is that student doctors get to practice solving a multitude of ‘mysteries’ during our education and practice communication, diagnosing, and treatment skills. While the escape rooms were indeed just for fun, they also sparked conversation regarding the importance of practicing clinical skills in a simulated environment and illustrated the unique educational opportunities Noorda-COM has to offer.” 

OSCEs look identical to an urgent care (or primary care physician’s) examination room and begin near the end of a Noorda-COM student’s first year. Rubric (communication skills, diagnosis aptitude, and treatment plan formulation) expectations increase with each semester.

Visitors also experienced portions of a Noorda-COM education through patient simulators (life-sized robots) and other task trainer demonstrations, including a live (robotic) birth, a heart attack, and ultrasound-capable trainers.

A young visitor tests out an ultrasound-capable task trainer.

“The task trainer demos during the open house were so fascinating,” explained visitor Jessica Blaine. “I also really liked the Holodeck screen demonstrating how ultrasounds work. Seeing the 3D render of how a baby is nestled inside of the womb was honestly captivating. As someone from a tech background focused on creating VR/AR games, I was surprised at how interesting and engaging medical technology can be to interact with!”

Saturday’s events also featured an augmented reality tour, live demonstrations of OMM techniques, a service project, and a wellness activity. This wellness activity included take-home affirmations for participants to reflect on their strengths, consider their weaknesses, and apply the eight dimensions of Noorda-COM wellness.  

Visitors watching an osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) demonstration.

Breanna Palmer, Administrative Assistant in Clinical Affairs, recounted a moment she shared with a physician at the wellness activity:

“A visitor expressed how impressed they were with the focus on student wellness at Noorda-COM,” she explained. “He mentioned that the medical school he attended had nothing like this program, and he hoped that other schools could learn from our example.”

Wellness at Noorda-COM includes monthly activities (sound baths, trail mix “make n take” bars, etc.) and a curriculum that requires all students to complete at least one hour of wellness per week. Wellness is also supplemented by psychological resources from Student Affairs. This commitment to self-care originates from the osteopathic philosophy.

It was amazing to see the community and our volunteers rally around us. This grand opening was one for the history books!

Harnessing the Power of AR

By Technology

It’s been an exciting time for our campus! We moved into our brand-new, state-of-the-art academic building and tested out new technology, learning spaces, and (anatomy, OSCE, and osteopathic manipulative medicine) labs.

This campus was designed with a commitment to remaining at the forefront of technology. Through advanced patient-care simulators, early engagement in research opportunities, and our flexible curricular model, students can learn essential skills from the newest resources possible.

We wanted this commitment to innovation and non-traditionalism to be reflected in our grand opening. That’s why we partnered with Continuum: to create six unforgettable touring experiences. Dispersed throughout the building, these augmented reality experiences help explain our medical school through videos, animation, “holographic” designs, and more.

The beginning of our AR tour.

“In pursuit of a distinctive touring experience, we harnessed Continuum’s cutting-edge expertise in the world of AR,” explains Ally Pack, marketing manager. “Every individual has different interests when touring our building and we wanted the experience to be a technological marvel for all visitors. Smartphones act as a gateway at our fingertips, facilitating exploration not only of our physical building but also of our purpose and vision.”

Nick Curtis, a first-year medical student from Utah, was asked to participate in the tour’s first stop. Using video editing and Continuum technology, we turned him into a holographic welcome.

Filming for Nick’s holographic segment.

“It was really cool to be part of something that will stand out for ages,” he explained. “I’m super excited for prospective students and visitors to experience this AR tour and learn more about what Noorda-COM has to offer them.”

Our campus welcomed nearly 1,500 visitors on Saturday, March 9th. Didn’t make it to campus last weekend? Fill out this form and we’ll mail you an AR tour card to enjoy from the comfort of your home!