NKU’s Health Innovation Center to Break Ground Wednesday

By Ryan Clark
NKU Marketing + Communications

When Billy Morgan takes the microphone Wednesday during the groundbreaking of NKU’s new Health Innovation Center, he has accepted that he will be anxious —“it’s a big moment,” he says.

But the freshman, an 18-year-old pre-nursing major from Independence, Ky., knows this will be a special moment, a moment to savor. He represents the student body that will soon be the first class to study in NKU’s newest building.

At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, the campus community is invited to join guests outside of Founders Hall to watch the ceremony. Those expected to attend include President Mearns, the NKU Board of Regents, and even Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

“Of course, I’m going to be a little nervous,” Morgan says. “But I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to say.”

Morgan will talk about his decision to attend NKU, and how he still works 30 hours per week at his off campus job. He will talk about the competitive nursing program that he’s working hard to join. And he will talk about nursing as a career and the difference it has made in his own life.

“My brother is a nurse, and I’ve seen the difference he can make in other people’s lives,” Morgan says. “And my father was an electrician in a hospital setting for his entire life, so I’ve always seen the good nurses and doctors can do.”

If you go

What: Health Innovation Center groundbreaking

When: 11:30 a.m., Wednesday

Where: Founders Hall (outside)

That’s the point, Morgan says. It’s all about helping others.

“I’ve thought about it, and I can’t just go to work everyday and sit at a desk all the time,” he says. “I have to be active. And being a nurse is a way to be active and help people get better.”

Of course, when Morgan was deciding where to go to college, there was also the promise of working in the new, $97 million Health Innovation Center. The 95,000-plus square-foot building will offer classes that span every college across campus when it opens in 2018.

“It’s going to be impressive,” he says. “You hear about some of the labs they’re talking about—this building will put us in the very same hospital setting we will be in when we graduate and go to work in the real world. It will make the transition so much smoother.”

And the HIC will connect students to so many other areas. Morgan knows that the future of healthcare involves becoming educated in multiple disciplines. From nursing to psychology to data analytics, all these areas of study will be housed under one roof at the HIC. And the building will also allow for the growth of research, which will help combat the health issues of the state.

“The area is evolving, and we have to do the same,” he says. “This is going to be the perfect place for it all.”

He smiled.

“It starts on Wednesday.”