When the University of Tennessee Health Science Center unveiled its new Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) today, it also honored the visionary behind the $39.7 million, 45,000-square-foot building.
The lobby of the state-of-the-art facility, the only of its kind is Tennessee, was dedicated to Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer of UTHSC, who had the idea for the building, and pushed for the funding, and helmed the project from the start.
“Initially, the idea came to me while attending a Tradeline conference on academic medical centers,” Dr. Brown said. “Specifically, there was another university discussing the future of health care education. In addition to all the discussions that were going on about simulation as the direction of the future of medical education, there was also lots of discussion and research being done on the interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach of clinical care and even basic science research.”
Dr. Brown reached out to local architecture firm brg3, which had done other projects at UTHSC, for assistance in finding the foremost authority in the country on simulation centers. The connection was made with Michael Seropian, MD, FRCPC, of the SimHealth Group, a leader in facility design, training, assessment, development, and implementation of simulation programs. “Dr. Seropian helped me and lots of others realize and appreciate the value of our idea, and played an instrumental role is assisting us to make it the reality that you see now.”
To recognize Dr. Brown’s dedication and support for the project, a bust in his honor was unveiled during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Without Dr. Brown’s vision for health science education, CHIPS would not be a reality,” said Lori Gonzalez, PhD, vice chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs at UTHSC. “He is committed to ensuring that our students leave UTHSC as well-educated, clinically-competent health care providers. Because of his efforts, we have the first simulation center of its kind in Memphis and one of only a few nationwide. We have the goal of being a national leader in the use of simulation in health care education, and CHIPS will push us forward quickly. The students, faculty, and future patients owe Dr. Brown our gratitude.”
The bust was done by Maddie Singer, director of anaplastology and instructor in the College of Dentistry’s Department of Prosthodontics. Singer has done busts of prominent figures in the College of Dentistry, including former Tennessee Governor Winfield C. Dunn and former dean William F. Slagle.
“I was honored when I was asked to do a bust in Dr. Brown’s honor,” Singer said. “I not only consider him a friend, but an inspiration.” Singer said the three-dimensional, bronze bust, which is a bit larger than life size, took her six months to create. She describes it as “a hybrid of strength, confidence, and heart,” serving as a testament to Dr. Brown’s character and personality. “I wanted the bust to be an accurate reflection of him, and I feel I captured that.” Bronzing of the bust was done by Lugar Bronze Foundry in Arlington, Tennessee.
Dr. Brown has been with UTHSC for approximately 20 years, and began his university service in the Office of the General Counsel. He previously served as the director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, Office of Employee Relations, and Center on Health Disparities. He also serves as an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and the Department of Surgery in the College of Medicine. He manages the Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery Solutions, The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center, and UTHSC’s BSL3 Regional Biocontainment Laboratory.
Dr. Brown earned his Juris Doctorate from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. He completed his PhD in Health Science Administration at UTHSC. He has been the recipient of numerous faculty, student, community, and civic awards from an exhaustive list of organizations. Most recently, he received the 2017 Health Care Heroes Award for Administrative Excellence from The Memphis Business Journal.