College of Health

College of Health

Working with the healthcare community to strengthen interprofessional collaborative relationships and improving health of the public.

College of Health News

UWF breaks ground on University Park Center

The University of West Florida broke ground today on University Park Center, a mixed-use facility adjacent to Pen Air Federal Credit Union Field, with an anticipated completion date of Spring 2018.

The 32,700-square-foot facility will provide additional space on campus for the UWF Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, as well as office space and meeting rooms for the UWF College of Health and the Florida State University College of Medicine’s Pensacola Regional Medical School Campus. The first floor will house a state-of-the-art weight room for all UWF student-athletes as well as a football locker room, equipment room and laundry facilities. The second floor will include office suites for the UWF College of Health and FSU College of Medicine, as well as a shared multipurpose room.

“University Park Center will be a foundation upon which UWF can grow into the future,” said UWF President Judy Bense. “Not only will it provide permanent facilities for our UWF football team, fostering ownership and enhancing future recruiting efforts, but it also creates a space for interprofessional collaboration in health education, research and practice between UWF and FSU. These are the types of projects that will make all the difference as we transform the University.”

The second-floor space is being developed to provide a location for campus and community partners to access UWF College of Health leadership and a base for operations for the FSU College of Medicine’s Pensacola Regional Campus for third- and fourth-year medical students. The space will foster more integration across the two universities through the UWF/FSU Physician Assistant Partnership Program.

The UWF Center for Interprofessional Collaboration in Health Education, Research and Practice will be included in the College of Health suite on the second floor, featuring workspace and a compilation of all projects and scholarly activities within the College. Multiple health disciplines will be represented in the administrative suite, including medicine, physician assistant, nursing, public health, medical laboratory sciences, health sciences and administration, psychology, athletic training, exercise science, community health education, fitness and conditioning, and physical therapy. The second floor will also include the College of Health dean’s office.

FSU medical students have been completing clinical rotations in Pensacola since 2003. More than 200 of Northwest Florida’s top physicians serve as faculty members in the College of Medicine’s community-based teaching model. A number of UWF graduates have attended medical school at FSU, as the institution seeks to produce physicians who are responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority and underserved populations.

“Our medical students have benefited from the partnership we have with the Pensacola medical community, and many of them have returned to this community as practicing physicians,” FSU President John Thrasher said. “Taking this step to work with our friends at UWF is a great opportunity not only to share resources, but to expand our efforts to identify students in Northwest Florida who identify with our mission – not only in medical school, but in our developing new PA program, as well.”

The athletic facilities on the first floor of University Park Center will provide additional space for the UWF football team, which is currently competing in its first season in Fall 2016. Football offices and operations are currently housed in temporary facilities adjacent to the UWF Field House.

University Park Center is budgeted at $6.8 million, with Caldwell Associates Architects Inc. of Pensacola overseeing the design and Childers’ Construction Inc. of Tallahassee serving as the construction manager at risk. The building is planned to be LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The University Park Center groundbreaking marks the beginning of the second phase of the development for University Park. The first phase was completed in February 2016 and included 12 acres of site work, associated utility infrastructure, lighting and the construction of a synthetic turf field which was named Pen Air Federal Credit Union Field on Sept. 7, 2016.

To learn more about University Park, visit

McMillan Foundation

Dan McMillan UWF Foundation Board member and manager of the D.W. McMillan Trust.

Yesterday, the University of West Florida Foundation announced a gift commitment by the D.W. McMillan Foundation to the University’s BSN Nursing Program.

The $250,000 gift will provide program support to UWF’s undergraduate nursing education, to be named the Dr. D.W. McMillan BSN Nursing Program.

“The D.W. McMillan Foundation is widely known throughout our region for its commitment to health and human services,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, president of the UWF Foundation, Inc. and vice president for university advancement. “That the University’s BSN Nursing Program will bear the McMillan name and educate future generations of nurses is a fitting recognition of the family’s dedication to healthcare and the health of this community.”

Goals of funding are to provide a high quality experience for BSN students, including enhancement of the classroom environment, enrichment through community and service learning, and recruitment and retention through scholarship support as needed.

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Dr. Ermalynn Kiehl
College of Health inaugural dean Dr. Ermalynn Kiehl

Program Description

The University of West Florida has announced the formation of the College of Health. The former College of Science, Engineering and Health will be divided into two separate colleges, the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Health. The College of Health will be led by inaugural dean Dr. Ermalynn Kiehl.

The UWF College of Health programs include:

  • Athletic Training
  • Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Exercise Science
  • Fitness and Conditioning
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Science
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health

The College of Health also coordinates UWF’s doctoral partnerships with the University of Florida in nursing practice and with the University of South Florida in physical therapy.