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UPIKE breaks ground on Health Professions Building

May 30, 2014 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
The University of Pikeville held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, May 16, for the new Health Professions Building. The facility will house the Kentucky College of Optometry and allow for expansion of the Elizabeth Akers Elliott Nursing Program.

UPIKE will be the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for optometrists is expected to grow faster than average nationally, by 33 percent through 2020, adding more than 11,000 new positions. Health care reform and an aging population are also expected to impact the need.

Andrew Buzzelli O.D., M.S., has been named the founding dean of the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class, for a total of 240. The university expects to welcome the first class in the fall of 2016.
Pictured, from left, Paul E. Patton, chancellor, University of Pikeville; Leslie Combs, state representative, Kentucky House of Representatives; Joe Ellis, O.D., trustee, University of Pikeville; Jimmy Carter, mayor pro tem, City of Pikeville; James Hurley, president, University of Pikeville; Tina Hurley, first lady, University of Pikeville; William Baird, III, trustee, University of Pikeville; Wayne Rutherford, judge/executive, Pike County; Ray Jones, senator, Kentucky Senate; and Terry Dotson, chairman of the board of trustees, University of Pikeville.

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