LIMA — Medical staff and Lima city officials lined up across the street from Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center on Thursday morning to make a very important cut, but it wasn’t for any surgery. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Graduate Medical Education (GME) Center officially opened the $15 million, 48,000 square-foot building.
The building houses simulation labs, training spaces, a 240-seat lecture hall, classrooms, a team-based project workspace, library, and office space. St. Rita’s is expecting the building to bring 100 new physicians to the Lima area by expanding and improving its residency program, which currently brings in 26 to 30 new physicians each year.
“It really starts with the residency program, which we are using to train future physicians for not just our community, but for the entire region and the world,” Mercy Health Market President Ronda Lehman said. “We made a conscious effort to be able to make sure we had facilities that were state-of-the-art and able to train them at the highest level.”
With the opening of the GME and the Rhodes State College Borra Center opening in August in downtown Lima, the city is quickly becoming a destination for medical professionals.
“Whenever you have a residency program, you become a hub because of the great education that those students are getting,” said GME Building Campaign Fund Co-chair Karen Grothouse. “They’re only helping to bring in medical MDs or MDs that want to learn and want to continue their education and become more valuable in their community.”
The project also has the potential to contribute to the growth and revitalization of downtown Lima.
“I think that this is going to be the catalyst to evolve downtown into an even better place than what it already is,” Grothouse said. “We’ve started to see some interest in new buildings and new activity downtown. In 10 years, I see a lot more housing downtown and a lot more activity downtown.”
Lima Mayor David Berger noted the importance of the new building, not just to the city, but how it will impact lives all over the world for years to come.
“The folks that come through here will touch lives and save lives around the world,” he said. “That is something that I just think we need to have a deliberate thought about the importance of what’s happening here and appreciate it for what it is.”
The GME is also expected to be a community anchor, not just for doctors. The building has the capacity to hold large training events, national speakers and training space for first responders.