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Innovation Quarter Welcomes Wake Forest Baptist’s Nurse Anesthesia Program as Newest Tenant

Chantelle Wallin is walking in her father’s footsteps, in a way she never imagined.

As a senior in Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s internationally accredited nurse anesthesia program – which this month completed a move to the 525@vine building at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter – Chantelle finds herself studying and preparing for her career in the same buildings where her father labored for R.J. Reynolds as a sheet metal worker in the 1970s and ‘80s.

“From a personal perspective, it’s a special thing for me to be pursuing my education and preparing for my career in this place,” said Chantelle, who is one of 48 nurse anesthesia students who recently made the move to 525@vine. “I remember going into these buildings as a kid, and it’s wonderful to see how they have changed and maintained some of the history of this place while making it such a usable space. What a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the connection between the past and the future.”

The longest continually running nurse anesthesia program in North Carolina joins Wake Forest Baptist’s Division of Public Health Sciences and Department of Physician Assistant Studies, which became some of the first tenants when 525@vine opened in June of 2014.

“A goal for the Innovation Quarter has been to create a robust knowledge-based community and for that we have encouraged there being a variety of student programs,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “This vision requires students learning a variety of skills in different ways and across different subject matters. The addition of the top-quality Nurse Anesthesia program at 525@vine helps fulfill that goal.”

The Nurse Anesthesia program expanded from 4,440 square feet at its previous location on the Hawthorne Hill campus of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to 11,000 square feet of new space at 525@vine. The new facility includes staff and administration offices, a student lounge, meeting and collaboration rooms, a state-of-the-art technology simulation lab, one traditional classroom, and an innovative, multi-functional learning space that features multi-media technology, an adaptable multi-functional classroom and lecture area and even a full-size basketball goal.

“Our Nurse Anesthesia program has been a nationally recognized leader in its field, and this new facility within 525@vine reflects that tradition of excellence,” said Michael Rieker, D.N.P., C.R.N.A., director of Nurse Anesthesia Education. “From the beginning, we envisioned this new space as a place where students could come both to learn and importantly to collaborate with each other and interact with other departments and programs of the School of Medicine and other organizations across the Innovation Quarter.”

With the arrival of the Nurse Anesthesia program, 94 percent of 525@vine is now leased. Other tenants at 525@vine include: Flywheel, a co-working innovation space; Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter; the headquarters of Clinical Ink, a provider of electronic data-capturing technology for clinical research; and the Innovation Quarter YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. Mullen, a full-service marketing communications firm announced in January it would move in, December 2015.