September 23, 2014

Des Moines University unveils new facility

Des Moines University has dedicated a new, 24-million dollar student education center. Former Governor Terry Bransad is president of the medical school, which is one of the nation’s largest osteopathic colleges. About 12-hundred-50 students are enrolled at Des Moines University, which used to be known as the University of Osteopathic Medicine. About eight-hundred are studying to be osteopathic doctors and surgeons. The rest are training to be physicians assistants, physical therapists or health care administrators, Branstad says Des Moines University is the nation’s second-oldest osteopathic college.He says 216 students are in the first year class in the university’s medical school. That’s larger than the University of Iowa’s medical school class of about 160 first-year students. “So, we’re bigger than the University of Iowa and we are one of the largest medical schools in the country,” Branstad says. The new building has a wellness center for students and staff. There’s a four-hundred-seat auditorium, a student union with full cafeteria and coffee bar and the entire third floor is a medical library. It’s open 16 hours a day, but Branstad says students are pressuring him to keep the library open 24 hours a day. There’s an “osteopathic manual manipulation” room in the building, too. The building, which is just a few blocks from Terrace Hill — the official residence for Iowa’s governor, sits along Grand Avenue and its northern facade is a wall of windows, “So people driving by on Grand Avenue can see students studying, they can see students exercising, they can see them using the…techniques they’ll be using in practice,” Branstad says. He says student input helped design the student center. Students asked for a fireplace, which was incorporated in the plans. There are two basketball courts and an indoor running track as well as the other classrooms and library space. An open house was held at the building yesterday afternoon. Branstad became president of Des Moines University nearly two years ago. He served as Iowa’s governor for 16 years, leaving office in January of 1999.