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New home is ‘heaven’ for College of Health Professions

Starting from top: College of Health Professions Dean Suzanne Mellon introduces UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., at the dedication program for the new Health Professions facility, Sept. 30.

College of Health Professions Dean Suzanne Mellon, UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., and President Emeritus Maureen A. Fay, O. P., formally open the new Health Professions facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Open House program participants: Connie Cronin, Vice President, Patient Care Services, Henry Ford Hospital; Suzanne Mellon, Dean, College of Health Professions; President Emeritus Maureen A. Fay, O.P.; UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen S.J.; Catherine De Clercq, O.P., Vice President, Governance and Sponsorship, Trinity Health; and Rob Casalou, President, Providence Hospital.

Exterior view of the new Health Professions facility on the McNichols Campus.

The statue of Mary that previously stood in front of the Faculty House on the Outer Drive Campus is now located in a courtyard near the new Health Professions facility on the McNichols Campus.

It’s been nearly three months since the University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Health Professions moved into its new home on the McNichols Campus, and the verdict is in:

“The comment I’m hearing the most is ‘I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven’,” says Dean Suzanne Mellon.

The 48,480-square foot facility -- a new structure connected to the south wing of Lansing-Reilly Hall, which was extensively remodeled -- features state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, offices and conference spaces.

“The environment is so beautiful,” says Mike Dosch, program director and chair of the Nurse Anesthesia program. “We are thrilled to be here.”

Suzanne Warnimont-York, Physician Assistant program chair, agrees.

“The classroom and office space is great. The classrooms are more comfortable and conducive to learning,” she says. “It’s nice being on a campus that’s so full of activity. The student life is evident and has much more of a campus feel.”

Student life, the opportunity to give CHP students a richer campus experience, was one of the reasons for the College’s move to the McNichols location.

“Our students are now part of a larger and more vibrant university community. They’re interacting with many more students from all kinds of disciplines. They can participate more fully in University activities and they have access to all the resources offered here,” notes Mellon.

“I love it here,” says senior nursing student Eberechi Ezuruonye. “I feel like I’m really part of the University.”

Shelly Glover, a senior Nurse Anesthesia student, said she especially likes the architecture and tradition of the McNichols Campus.

“All the events that the campus has to offer also stand out,” she says. “I had no idea about the goings on here before.”

And while the bustling McNichols Campus is making an impression on its newest students, Dean Mellon says they’re making an impact, too.

“We brought 600 students to this campus – that’s a lot of white coats,” she says. “We’ve brought our history and traditions with us and you can be sure that’s going to influence the culture here.”

The new facility was officially dedicated Sept. 30, as part of UDM’s Presidential Inauguration Week festivities. Like most construction projects, the building wasn’t entirely finished. However, event organizers Sharon Malinowski, College of Health Professions clinical placement coordinator, and Development Director Enid Grauer made the best of the situation.

“We had an ‘under construction’ theme. We had construction cones sprouting balloons here and there. The centerpieces were hard hats with the UDM logo filled with balloons,” she says. “It worked.”

The evening started indoors with the dedication of the Maureen A. Fay, O.P. Center, an impressive conference space located in the facility’s new structure and named for the University’s former president. Both Sr. Fay and UDM President Gerard Stockhausen, S.J., Ph.D., addressed the crowd. Dean Mellon also spoke, recognizing key donors who helped make the new building possible: Henry Ford Health System, Providence Hospital and Trinity Health.

The party moved outside for the blessing and dedication of the building by Fr. Stockhausen. An official ribbon cutting followed, with Fr. Stockhausen, Sr. Fay and Mellon doing the honors.

The building is expected to be completed in late November. And while CHP faculty, staff and students are longing to unpack those last few boxes, the move has been positive.

“The level of activity here signals an energized campus. The building of the new CHP addition continues each day, and that is one sign,” says Assistant Professor of Nursing Judith Mouch, RSM. “But I also enjoy hearing the various (outdoor) sports events that are broadcast over the loud speakers. That reminds me that there is more to college life than books and exams.”

For additional information on Inauguration Week activities, see UDM’s Presidential Inauguration site at www.udmercy.edu/inauguration.