UK’s largest academic building will be the Michael D. Rankin M.D. Health Education Building, named for an alumnus from Danville

By Kristi Willett
University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved Tuesday the naming of the university’s new building for health education as the Michael D. Rankin M.D. Health Education Building.

As an alumnus, Rankin has devoted himself to the UK College of Medicine, its success and the success of its students. He has been an invaluable member of the UK Medical Alumni Association, its past president, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council and volunteer faculty in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. In addition, he has served many years on the College of Medicine scholarship and admissions committees.

The Board of Trustees previously accepted a gift commitment of $22 million from Rankin for scholarships in the college and to support the construction of the building — which, when completed, will be the largest academic building in the history of UK.

“Dr. Rankin has left an indelible mark of healing and hope, not just on this university, but on the state of Kentucky,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “His influence will be felt by generations of students and the patients they later serve.”

At over 500,000 square feet, the new Health Education Building will house programs in the colleges of Medicine, Public Health, Health Sciences and Nursing as well as the Center for Interprofessional and Community Health Education. The new facility will become a prominent campus landmark at the intersection of Huguelet and University drives when it opens.

Rankin, of Danville, received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UK in 1971 and his medical degree from the College of Medicine in 1980. He completed his residency in family medicine in 1983 at UK HealthCare and pursued a successful practice in primary care and family medicine in Atlanta before retiring and returning to Boyle County on a farm 10 miles from where he grew up.

“One of the greatest challenges facing the commonwealth is the current and growing shortage of health care providers, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers, medical laboratory scientists, speech language pathologists, audiologists, public health officials and other health care professionals,” Capilouto said. “With this new facility, we will be addressing this health care workforce shortage head-on and, but it couldn’t be done without our partners like Dr. Michael Rankin, who share with us a vision for a healthier Kentucky.”

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