about making a grand entrance.
When the University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Health
Professions relocates to the McNichols Campus from the Outer Drive
Campus next summer, its new home will be a state-of-the-art facility
for health care education. The $4.5 million project is a first step
in creating a center for the health sciences at the University.
The new facility, which will be added onto a renovated Lansing-Reilly
Hall, will provide the College with 48,480 square feet for classrooms,
laboratories, offices and more.
“It’s going to be an exceptional facility, one that
will have tremendous benefits for our students, the University and
the community,” says Dean Suzanne Mellon.
The building will feature high-tech classrooms and laboratories,
including a number of simulation laboratories, which have become
integral to quality health care education.
"Health care graduates don’t get on-the-job training.
They’re providing care to patients from the moment they’re
hired,” notes Mellon. “Simulation labs allow students
to practice their skills in settings that closely resemble those
they’ll encounter at work.”
The labs will be critical to the Physician Assistant curriculum,
according to Sharon Moser, Physician Assistant instructor and academic
“The simulation labs are so important. They’re used
in so many areas now, like pulmonary, endocrinology and wound care,”
she says. “Without these labs, students have to wait until
their clinicals to get this type of experience.”
new building also will include spaces inspired by the Sisters of
Mercy, one of the College’s founders. A sweeping two-story
atrium will showcase stained glass windows brought over from the
Mercy Chapel on the Outer Drive Campus. An adjacent Heritage Reception
Hall will celebrate the College’s history and accomplishments,
highlighting the contributions of alumni, faculty and administrators.
“The Heritage Hall will help us continue to tell the story
of Mercy foundress Catherine McAuley; Francis Warde, who brought
the Sisters of Mercy to the U.S.; and Mother Carmelita Manning,
who bought the Outer Drive property in 1940 and had Mercy College
up and running by 1941. We need to keep telling that story,”
says Mary Kelly, R.S.M., Health Services Administration chair.
Drawing from the charisms of the Sisters of Mercy, a nearby Reflection
Room will offer students and visitors a quiet space for private
reflection and prayer. This area will house artifacts from the Mercy
Chapel and will include the University Ministry Office for the College
of Health Professions.
“The Reflection Room is important in a college of health
professions, because what we do is an extension of the healing power
of God,” explains Kelly. “The concept of Mercy has two
components: the sense of feeling for those who are suffering and
then the response of doing something to alleviate the suffering.
We grow in Mercy by reflecting on it, developing sensitivity to
God’s children. Education and practice is how we respond.”
The decision to relocate the College of Health Professions was
part of the University’s long-range strategic plan. Moving
the College will make better use of University resources, provide
more opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange, and allow health
professions students to participate in a more vibrant college life.
“It’s going to be a positive move in so many ways,”
says Beth Anctil, assistant professor, Health Systems Management.
“Campus life will be richer for our students.”
Moser expects her students will enjoy being part of the lively
“Our students tend to be very outgoing, active and involved,”
she says. “They’re really going to benefit from being
part of the activities at McNichols.”
Michael Dosch, Nurse Anesthesia director and chair, says the move
will be good for his students.
“Being in a new building is exciting. We’ll be closer
to IT, the library, and other colleges. Our students and faculty
will be better connected to University life,” he says.
Faculty members say they’re looking forward to working more
closely with their colleagues in the other colleges.
"We’re really excited about working with genetics, chemistry,
biology and the other pure sciences,” says Moser.
“We’ve had little chance to know our peers on the McNichols
Campus,” adds Kelly. “Sometimes the ideas for your best
collaborations happen over lunch or after bumping into someone at
the library. Now we’ll have the opportunity for that.”