In front of a packed crowd in the newly re-named Harold and Marie Bechtel Academic Health Center, Palmer College of Chiropractic announced it had received the largest gift in academic history, and also unveiled its new Trevor Ireland Student Clinic.
"Today, we take an important step in the future of chiropractic education at Palmer College," Chancellor Dennis Marchiori told the crowd. "Clinical experience is at the heart of student learning here at Palmer, and the opening of this new third floor clinic marks a milestone for the college."
In its 122 year history, the student clinic has been in a variety of locations across the college, including in the Memorial Building, the administrative building and the old clinic that will be replaced by its new Learning Commons in 2021. For the first time, outpatient care and the student clinic will be in the same building.
Eighth trimester student Aaron Madson shared his excitement for the $3.4 million clinic in remarks before the unveiling. "Palmer has opened my eyes about the true power of chiropractic and the healing effects it can have on patients," he said. "When we toured the new space on Monday, I couldn't help but look into the new treatment rooms and feel like a real health care provider."
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Madson said the new treatment rooms will help students build clinical confidence. "This new clinic will provide Palmer students for generations to come a state-of-the-art space to learn about chiropractic and begin our journey in patient care," he said. "And it should go without saying, but my classmates and I are chomping at the bit to break in the new space."
Marchiori shared some details on Ireland, who grew up in South Africa before pursuing a chiropractic degree at Palmer. With a practice in Anchorage, Alaska for over 40 years, Ireland also has served on the Board of Trustees for the college for over 30 years and as the board chair for the last 10 years.
"Under his guidance and leadership as chair of the board, our Palmer community has achieved incredible success," Marchiori said. "The naming of this new space above us pays homage to Dr. Ireland's passion for clinical training and for patient care."
Palmer also announced that they had received the single largest gift in school history, receiving $5 million from the Harold and Marie Bechtel Trust. The Trust has given over $100 million to organizations that focus on the arts, youth programs, education and scientific research, including $10.2 million to Palmer.
"We are excited to know that every student that walks through these doors and enters the Palmer campus into our clinic and into our wellness space will understand the generosity these individuals have had for Palmer College and the Quad-Cities," Marchiori said.