Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in Fort Smith has been awarded a $193,553 Degen Foundation grant for equipment for the Sterilization Core Research Facility in the new ACHE Research Institute Health and Wellness Center.
ACHE announced the purchase of the former Golden Living building in September. It will move its biological medical research laboratory to the new location later this year. Along with the research center, the building will house a new Health and Wellness Center that will provide resources focused on healthy lifestyle habits including nutrition, exercise, the arts, and mental wellness.
The Degen Foundation grant allow ACHE to expand its medical research with the development of a new research institute that will support essential student education and biomedical research, noted an ACHE news release. The research space, which is in the initial design phase, will be 66,000 square-feet, making it the largest medical research facility of any osteopathic medical school in the United States.
The ACHE Biological Research Lab is now 7,000 square feet housed in the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The new research institute will be as much as 120,000 square feet and hold four to five research centers, Dr. Talal El-Hefnawy, ACHE director of research who will be in charge of the new space, previously told Talk Business & Politics. El-Hefnawy said initial plans for the institute call for a cancer center, cardiovascular center, diabetes center and addiction and substance abuse center.
New drug discoveries and medical inventions from ACHE research will drive new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) jobs, federal grant funding, and venture capital to the Fort Smith Region as well, according to ACHE officials. The new research institute also will allow ARCOM to be more competitive when it comes to recruiting professors.
“The steadfast support of The Degen Foundation has allowed ACHE to create an institution that is a step ahead of others. Their gifts have helped to provide critically important equipment which have aided our research faculty and students in the development of life-changing research. We greatly appreciate their support,” said Kyle Parker, CEO of ACHE.