College of Health and Equity

Briar Cliff University Announces Redesign to Health Care Workforce Training Facility

March 13, 2023

Following the $2 million grant award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and added support from the Missouri River Historical Development (MRHD) and other donors, Briar Cliff University has worked alongside CMBA and Project Advocates to finalize plans for the new health care workforce training facility. The University has increased its fundraising goal to allow an aggressive redesign, focused on enhancing equitable access to healthcare and education for all students in the tri-state area.

With the new design, the university will remove Toller Hall to prepare for a new building, creating a more efficient and environmentally friendly facility. The rebuild will allow for all disciplines within the college to relocate to one building, simulating a real-world healthcare setting in which coordination of care among practitioners is encouraged. 

“As we were preparing for the original remodel of Toller Hall, we quickly realized the risk of retrofitting a current residence hall to an educational facility,” said Michelle Boe, Vice President of University Advancement and General Counsel. “We also know there is a great risk to what could be uncovered with a 1967 building. Most importantly, we want to focus on the entire facility, versus one floor.”

Previously named the School of Interprofessional Health and Help Sciences™, the facility will now be named the College of Health & Equity. Adding “Equity” to its name signals Briar Cliff’s focus on intentional recruitment and support of communities that have not traditionally completed four-year degrees, particularly in healthcare. Within the college will be several disciplines, including:

  • Schools of Nursing, Behavior Analysis, and Social Work
  • Graduate Schools of Occupational and Physical Therapy
  • Interprofessional Health Professions, including Kinesiology, Medical Laboratory Science, Radiologic Technology and Respiratory Care
  • The Community Clinic, expanding pro bono services for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and behavior analysis 
  • Centers for equity development, such as a Center for Native American Health Professionals

“Upon further discussion with our partners for the project, faculty, and the community, the redesigned and renamed College of Health & Equity supports our crucial mission to serve the underserved and marginalized,” said Boe. “This model will better align with traditional academic organizations and allow for increased affinity to each school within the College of Health & Equity. More space will be provided for our pro bono services, now called Community Clinics. We also hope to name the schools as we continue fundraising for the project.”

Due to the removal of Toller Hall as a residence hall beginning spring of 2024, the university is evaluating additional housing options as well as remodeling current on-campus housing options, including a $4.5 million remodel of Alverno Hall beginning May 2023. Alverno Hall, Baxter DiGiovanni Center, and Noonan Hall will support current on-campus resident needs, following the removal of Toller Hall.

Briar Cliff estimates the total cost of the College of Health & Equity to be $20 million. Currently, through grants, fundraising, and other resources, the University has raised nearly half of the project cost. The completion of the College of Health & Equity is slated for May 2025.

Briar Cliff Hosts Achieving Cultural Awareness in Health Care Conference

Briar Cliff University Announces Fall 2023 Dean's List

Briar Cliff University Honors Native American Heritage Month with a Gift to Little Priest Tribal College