MOORHEAD – The Heimarck Center, home to the Sanford Heimarck School of Health Professions, has technically been open since classes began in Aug. But it wasn’t until Oct. 12 that it truly, spiritually opened, following its dedication ceremony.
Roughly one hundred alumni and a few current students gathered outside the brand-new building just before 1 p.m., braving the blustery winds in order to attend. The ceremony began with a quick speech by Reverend Terry Brandt.
“We gather here today to celebrate a momentous occasion, the dedication and ribbon cutting of the Sanford Heimarck Center,” Brandt said. “This marks a significant milestone in our deepening commitment to excellence in education and healthcare.”
Several speakers took to the podium throughout the dedication, including Sanford Health’s Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Services Theresa Larson, the dean of the School of Health Professions professor Gwen Haalas and Concordia President Colin Irvine.
Additionally, two other speakers, Sara Heimarck Hanson and David Horazdovsky, talked about the legacy of the building and the school’s late namesake, Professor Ted Heimarck.
Heimarck was a professor of health at Concordia from 1961 until 1998, and created the Healthcare Administration program. He passed away in 2007.
Heimarck was heavily praised throughout the ceremony, with Brandt referring to him as “a distinguished professor”. His daughter, Heimarck Hanson and alum Horazdovsky spoke fondly of his impacts. Heimarck Hanson commended his abilities as a father, while Horazdovsky spoke about how Heimarck was a great mentor.
“Everybody got jobs after they graduated,” Horazdovsky said, referring to Heimarck’s talent of finding connections.
Haalas’ speech was another thanks to Heimarck and Sanford Health, who support the school. She shared a few new developments in the school.
“New programs include a master’s in social work, training in leadership and healthcare systems for health professionals, education in public health, and a partnership with NDSU in preparing pharmacists,” Haalas said. Another opportunity includes “An early acceptance program for our premed students at the new Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine in Billings” Haalas said.
There are also plans for expansions of the school in the future, “We are planning a new Center for Population Health that will include our faculty in social work, healthcare leadership, wellness, and new faculty in sociology and health,” Haalas said.
After Irvine’s brief speech, which thanked the donors and designers of the center, it was time for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Over a dozen people lined up to hold a blue ribbon in front of the podium. Following a brief photo op, they held a large pair of scissors and cut the ribbon. The Heimarck Center was officially open.
Following the ceremony was an open house inside. Light refreshments were provided as people moved inside to tour the new building. A few highlights include simulation hospital rooms for students to practice their skills in a healthcare setting, several large, modern classrooms for seminars to spur discussion and a “Bod Pod”, in which someone can step inside a machine that will measure your body density.
“We have an audacious mission to influence the affairs of the world,” Haalas said. “I know that we will do that with this Center and our new programs.”