OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Owensboro Health has named former Kentucky Wesleyan College President Bart Darrell the new Vice-President of the Commonwealth West Healthcare Workforce Innovation Center.

According to a press release from Owensboro Health, the Innovation Center will offer classes and programs in a wide range of healthcare career fields, such as nursing, respiratory, radiology, behavioral health, and community health. Owensboro Heath says the facility will provide hands-on learning experiences and simulate “real world” healthcare environments, such as an operating room or a patient exam room. It will be located at the current Owensboro Health Business Center on Frederica Street, with renovations to start later this summer, says Owensboro Health.

“Kentucky will face a nursing shortage of 16,000 in just two years,” said Steve Johnson, vice president of government and community affairs. “The Innovation Center is an exciting step that will spark interest in healthcare careers and help our region meet tomorrow’s workforce challenges.”

“With his background in education and community service, Bart is the perfect fit to lead this project,” Owensboro Health President and CEO Mark Marsh said. “We are proud to welcome him to Owensboro Health.”