As he outlined the expansion as something that would have an impact well beyond Gwinnett County, Wayne Sikes described the two significant additions to the campus as an offering to the people closest to the school.

“All of this, and all of this to come, is a gift to the people of Gwinnett County,” said Sikes, a trustee of the Georgia campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Sikes spoke at a celebratory event on Wednesday in Suwanee at the Georgia campus of PCOM as the school outlined plans for a more than $8 million combined addition in the form of a 20,000 square foot physical therapy education center and a simulation center that features a virtual reality operating suite and life-like mannequin patients.

The simulation center is in use, and the physical therapy education center is expected to open next year pending accreditation approval. The college plans to submit an “Application for Candidacy,” which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on Dec. 1. If approved, the college would admit the first class of students in June 2018.

“This is an exciting day for Georgia campus and the entire PCOM community and family,” President Jay Feldstein said.

The simulation center uses patient actors and simulators to help students practice clinical skills, develop communication abilities and demonstrate clinical competence before they treat real patients.

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