Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann have donated $15 million to build a new student health center.
“I’m extremely excited and grateful,” said Larry Neinstein, executive director of the University Park Health Center. “It’s taken 15, 16 years to get a new facility. It’s kind of a dream come true.”
Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann have been long-time supporters of USC. Michele is a 1968 alumna of the School of Theatre, and is now a member of the USC Board of Trustees. Both of Michele’s parents graduated from USC, and her father, Rod Dedeaux, coached the USC baseball team for 45 years; Dedeaux Field is named in his honor. Two of Roger and Michele’s children also graduated from USC.
This donation, which was announced Thursday, is the next chapter of Roger and Michele’s legacy.
The Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann Student Health Center will be built on Jefferson Boulevard, near Fluor Tower. This new five-story center will be 101,000 square feet and will be built in USC’s “traditional architectural style.”
Construction of the health center will begin this summer, and is set to open in January of 2013.
The new health center will feature laboratory and medical imaging facilities, and a separate clinic for USC faculty and staff for treatment of minor health problems.
The health center will focus on health promotion and prevention, and will contain special clinics in dermatology, acupuncture, orthopedics, oral health, allergy and gynecology.
“Everytime we wanted to add something, it’s been hard because we didn’t have enough rooms,” Neinstein said. “With the new building we will be able to speed things up and get people seen faster.”
Because space in the health center has been limited in the past, many services had to move to other locations around campus. The new facility will be a larger space, and will house all medical services including counseling, physical therapy and insurance services in one central location. Different levels will also be specialized.
“We have outgrown our site over the past 15 years with a large increase in visits, as we have become a residential campus community,” Neinstein wrote in an email.
The Engemann Student Health Center will also work toward planning and facilitating care for issues related to local and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks and infectious disease outbreaks.
Students share Neinstein’s excitement about the new health center.
“It’s great and a needed improvement,” said Anne Riggs, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “A lot of people don’t go, not for the lack of treatment or ability, but [because] the facility doesn’t reflect the professionals that work there.”
Riggs also said the additional space for private exam rooms will draw more people to the health center.
Jordan Smith, a first year Ph.D. student studying industrial and systems engineering, agreed.
“There’s not a hospital on campus,” Smith said. “It would probably be good for USC to have something of a higher volume and greater capacity.”
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann Student Health Center will be held April 4 at 3:30 p.m. in Parking Lot L on Jefferson Boulevard, near the building’s future site.