TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – After a school year that has been anything but normal, physician assistant (P.A.) students at Kansas State University are in for a treat come spring of 2021.

Stormont Vail Health is investing a total of about $2 million in the university to better their curriculum and bring services to the Manhattan area.

“This is a phenomenal investment for Stormont Vail and to Kansas State University and the region. We are so appreciative of their impact for the students, but also the community at large,” said Greg Lohrentz, chief operating and financial officer of the Kansas State University Foundation.

The healthcare facility will provide input to the school’s curriculum, and will also provide students with a simulation lab in the building students will work in, Mary and Carl Ice Hall.

However, they aren’t stopping there.

“The students will have available hands-on collaboration with Stormont Vail in the new simulation lab that they’re providing, but also directly across the street with a new medical office facility,” Lohrentz said.

The facility purchased 55,000 square feet on K-State’s campus where they plan to build the Cotton O’Niel Manhattan Medical Campus.

Stormont Vail staff will work in the office, and physican assistant students will have the chance to learn from them there as well.

“Developing real-life opportunities for these P.A. students in our Cotton O’Niel clinics with our physicians and other providers, helping them gain the kind of practical experience that they need,” said Dr. Robert Kenagy, president and CEO of Stormont Vail.

The university sees this as a huge win for the students, as well as the community.

“Any additional options on healthcare, period, are good for the community. So, we’re appreciative of Stormont Vail’s commitment to K-State and the region,” Kenagy said.

Stormont Vail will begin helping the school with their curriculum in the spring of 2021, and hope to have the new medical campus built in the fall of 2022.