Kosair Charities announced Wednesday that it has awarded a grant of $2 million to Spalding University in support of its new School of Physical Therapy and the ongoing project to transform a campus building into a state-of-the-art health professions academic center that will house the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. That building will now bear Kosair Charities’ name.
The 21,500-square-foot building located at 961 S. Third St. will be named the Kosair Charities School of Physical Therapy and Center for Interprofessional Education, Spalding announced. The technology-rich facility will be the site of the laboratory courses for Spalding’s new DPT program, which will admit its first cohort in Fall 2022. The building will also feature spaces for student study and collaboration.
The major grant continues a 25-year philanthropic relationship between Kosair Charities and Spalding in support of academic programs and facilities – particularly in healthcare – that are designed to make a positive impact on the lives of children and families.
Consistent with the mission of Kosair Charities, Spalding’s School of Physical Therapy will feature programming and partnerships that emphasize a commitment to pediatric physical therapy while seeking to help fill a regional need for physical therapists. Among the highlights:
- Planned post-professional residency and fellowship in pediatric PT that are unique to Kentucky, led by faculty who are board-certified in pediatric physical therapy.
- Mentoring opportunities in teaching, provided by veteran faculty, for interested physical therapists, including ones in post-doctoral pediatric neurorecovery fellowships.
- Opportunities for physical therapy program graduates to become board-certified pediatric physical therapists.
“Kosair Charities’ history and mission has long been interwoven into the fabric of Spalding University, with our first grant in 1996. We are thrilled to announce a grant totaling $2 million to support the newly named Kosair Charities School of Physical Therapy and Center for Interprofessional Education at Spalding University,” said Keith Inman, President of Kosair Charities. “A portion of these funds will allow the creation of Kentucky’s first residency and fellowship programs in pediatric physical therapy. Kosair Charities is proud to be a part of this milestone moment for our state and community.”
Spalding’s DPT program has already been approved by the university’s regional accrediting body – the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) – and is seeking to become the fourth DPT program in Kentucky to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Student applications are open now for Fall 2022, with more information available at spalding.edu/physicaltherapy.
Construction on the Kosair Charities School of Physical Therapy and Center for Interprofessional Education is scheduled to be completed by late 2021.
“We are grateful and honored to receive this grant from Kosair Charities in support of the new School of Physical Therapy and the construction of a state-of-the-art building that will enhance teaching and learning while also supporting a campus-wide culture of interprofessional education and collaboration,” Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said. “The service-minded missions of Spalding and Kosair Charities align so well, and the long, strong relationship Spalding has had with Kosair Charities is so valuable to us. We are extremely proud to have another building on our campus bear the name of Kosair Charities, whose impact on our community and the lives of children cannot be overstated.
“We hope and expect that a great deal of the students who come to our PT school will stay in Louisville after graduation to practice here, including many who will pursue a pediatric specialty. Our new PT school will also create mentoring opportunities for pediatric PTs to become professors, enhancing pediatric PT education in our region for years to come.”
The purchase and renovation of the building – which was acquired by Spalding in 2019 and is well-known in Louisville as the former longtime home of the V.V. Cooke Chevrolet dealership – represent one of the largest capital projects in Spalding history, totaling about $7 million. The newly renovated building expands a Spalding health professions corridor along South Third Street that already includes the Kosair Charities College of Health and Natural Sciences Building, 901 S. Third (home of the occupational therapy, athletic training and natural sciences programs), and the Republic Bank Academic Center, 981 S. Third (nursing and social work).
The building will feature three skills labs for on-site laboratory instruction as well as an anatomy education center with an anatomy wet lab and accompanying dry lab featuring models and technology for virtual anatomy instruction.
An atrium with natural light coming through the tall windows along Third Street will provide collaborative and lounge space for students. Another student lounge will be upstairs.
Schaefer Construction is the general contractor for the project. Schmidt Associates is the architecture partner. Spalding continues to raises funds to cover capital costs.
“We cannot thank Kosair Charities enough for their support of this first-class healthcare academic center in downtown Louisville,” Spalding Chief Advancement Officer Caroline Heine said. “Kosair Charities continues to help Spalding carry out its mission of meeting the needs of the times by preparing compassionate, skilled therapists and healthcare professionals, and we hope others will follow their lead in supporting this important work.”
CENTER FOR INTERPROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
The location of the building between other health science centers on campus, along with its technology resources, makes it an ideal location to be the future center of Spalding’s initiative to expand interprofessional education (IPE) across its academic healthcare disciplines.
The new anatomy labs are expected to be used by students and faculty from science programs across the university, and Spalding expects to use the new building to host collaborative IPE student experiential learning activities.
“In real healthcare settings, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, social workers and mental health professionals work side by side every day,” McClure said. “At Spalding, we are committed to introducing our students to those interprofessional experiences as a part of our teaching, with a common thread of emphasizing compassion, equity and justice in healthcare.”