Health Sciences Celebrates Its New School Status

The new School of Nursing and Health Sciences, upgraded from department status in recognition of its importance to Merrimack's current and long-term enrollment goals, introduced itself to the campus community Monday during a soft-launch opening in its newly renovated space in O'Reilly Hall.

“We’re making great progress here, and I couldn’t be happier,” President Christopher E. Hopey told the assembled guests.

Health sciences was housed in a couple of trailers when Hopey arrived at Merrimack seven years ago. It later relocated to the Merrimack Athletics Complex before this summer’s move to O’Reilly. The renovated space was designed to accommodate the latest in teaching and learning needs.

“This is the future,” said Dean of Student Success and Academic Support Peter Ellard. “We’re just there ahead of everybody else.”

“You don’t get much better than a new building,” said Sports Medicine Clinical Coordinator Dennis Fontaine.

Punctuating Merrimack’s commitment to creating cutting-edge education environments during Monday’s opening celebration was the Anatomage 3-D medical imaging table in the anatomy and physiology classroom that is used for virtual dissecting; and the 3-D goggles that students and faculty can use to study the human body and its functions.

The Anatomage uses digitization of actual people as if they are lying on a table and the pictures can be broadcast to large screens on the walls. The images of male and female bodies can be turned, stood up, and flipped to get clear images of the body as well as internal organs and bone structure, said health sciences Dean Kyle McInnis.

“It’s a whole new level of teaching because the body is seen in 3-D and a book only allows you to teach in 2-D,” McInnis said.

Graduate student Kayla Rogers ’18, of Williamsville, Vermont, pursing her master’s degree in exercise science and sports science, said she’s excited to have access to the Anatomage.

“To be hands-on and interactive as a student is critical,” she said.

There’s also an important academic success center in O’Reilly for health sciences students, said Victoria Barry ’18, an exercise science major and president of the Health Sciences Club from Bedford, Massachusetts. The center can help students prepare resumes, cover letters and applications to graduate school.

“We have our own success center which is huge,” she said.

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