University News

veteran's device
For a veteran client, a UDM multidisciplinary
team developed a stabilizing device that could
be attached to his wheelchair and allow him
to stabilize items such as his gun or camera
so he could return to his outdoor hobbies.
Pictured is the client, seated, getting assistance
from UDM engineering students to learn
how to use the new device.

Michelle Obama recognizes UDM engineering-nursing program's work with veterans

At an April 12 speech at the University of Pennsylvania College of Nursing, First Lady Michelle Obama referenced UDM’s joint engineering-nursing program that supports veterans by creating helpful devices that improve their everyday function. Her speech was presented as part of her “Joining Forces” campaign designed to improve the well-being of veterans. Dean of the College of Health Professions Christine Pacini attended the event. The presentation included the announcement that leading nursing schools and nursing organizations have committed to educate current and future nurses on how to recognize and treat post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression and other combat-related issues.

Obama cited the need for veterans to have access to quality care for physical or mental health treatment, whether in VA hospitals or community clinics. In citing positive examples of care and training, the First Lady stated:

“We know that high quality of care is possible, and we see examples every day, all across this country. At the University of Detroit Mercy School of Nursing, nursing students are working with engineering students to design devices that will help veterans with disabilities return to the activities they love. And they recently worked with a veteran who had trouble grasping objects and holding his arms steady. With the device they built for him, he’s been able to resume his favorite hobbies—hunting and photography. And that’s so important. Nurses were right there.”

UDM’s collaborative program began four years ago and is coordinated by Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Darrell Kleinke and Assistant Professor of Nursing Molly McClelland. The program includes small teams of engineering and nursing students who work on projects in partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services, John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center and other contacts.

Read more about UDM’s joint engineering-nursing initiative to assist veterans.

For more information about UDM, or to apply online, go to

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