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13 May 2013 | Press Release

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Griffith Health Centre prepares to open

New premises and facilities Dental Schools

The new $150m Griffith Health Centre is finally preparing to open its doors to the community.


With expanded clinical services and a wealth of new student learning opportunities, the primary health care facility – set to be officially opened on Friday July 19 by Her Excellency The Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO – will operate alongside the new Gold Coast University Hospital and focus on Chronic Disease Management and Sports Health.

In addition to the teaching, learning and research, there will be five individual clinical facilities which will initially operate within the Griffith Health Centre and which will be known as the Griffith Health Clinics. These clinics will comprise dentistry; physiotherapy/rehabilitation; exercise physiology; psychology and dietetics.

This is then expected to expand next year to include speech pathology; medicine (general practice); nursing & midwifery; clinical pharmacy; social work and occupational therapy.

"It's been a challenging period, however we are almost there and we are really excited about what the Griffith Health Clinics will have to offer the local and academic communities," says clinical services director Jenny McDonald.

"Not only has there been a whole host of new equipment and technology purchased for the Centre, but there has been a significant logistical operation involved in moving the contents of the three previous Griffith Health buildings over to the new location. Two of these were on the Parklands Campus and the other was the Centre for Medicine & Oral Health located in Southport, which housed the 54 chair Griffith Dental Clinic.

"Whilst we have purchased 42 new state-of-the-art dental chairs for our new dentistry facility, we have relocated and upgraded a further 54 chairs from the old clinic.

"Unfortunately the time allocated to do the dismantling and installation of these was during very heavy rain so it was extremely challenging for those involved and it took longer than expected."

22 X-ray units have been relocated and installed at the Centre's new Dentistry Clinic, with a further 22 new ones expected to arrive imminently.

Dentistry students can also look forward to the installation of Simodonts, which are cutting-edge simulators that can be used to practice dental procedures in a realistic virtual environment.

Meanwhile, the psychology services located at the Centre are being prepared with the installation of a sophisticated hi-tech program designed to facilitate the supervision of psychology interns during their clinical practice sessions.

Queensland's only plastination lab is also set to be established at the Centre, for the preservation and exhibition of body part samples. The teaching and learning facility, which will be located on the 10th floor, is a purpose-built space which will be managed by a team of German-trained staff. Plastination was invented in 1977 by the controversial German doctor Gunther von Hagens and involves the removal of a body's water and fat and then replacement with special plastics.

Nine consultancy/therapy rooms alongside a specialist observation area are also being given the final touches in preparation to be made available to all disciplines within the Griffith Health Centre.

"Another challenge we have had during this relocation period is how to keep a busy dental clinic running for patients at the same time as moving. We overcame this by opening three weeks earlier than usual in January this year. This enabled us to maximise our moving time in the middle of the year to seven weeks," says Ms McDonald.

The Griffith Health Centre is part of a suite of new initiatives under Griffith's three-year 'New Griffith 2013-2016' program, which signifies an intensive period of change and innovation for the university.

The opening also comes as a new report shows Griffith University contributes more than 7300 jobs to the Gold Coast economy.

Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O'Connor said an Ernst and Young economic impact analysis showed Griffith contributed a total of $585 million directly and indirectly to the Coast. The report findings show that 4908 direct jobs and 2418 indirect jobs exist because of Griffith's presence on the Coast.

For more information on 'New Griffith' visit www.griffith.edu.au/newgriffith.

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