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Bona’s Receives Grant to Buy Learning Lab


St. Bonaventure University has received a matching grant of $130,357 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help purchase an Allied Health Simulation Learning Lab.

Dr. Claire Watson, director of St. Bonaventure’s public health program, and Dr. Monica Thomas, director of the health science program, co-authored the grant application.

In 2016, the university established a School of Health Professions, which now houses undergraduate programs in health science and public health.

St. Bonaventure just hired directors to develop a graduate program in physician assistant studies and an undergraduate nursing program, and is searching for a director to develop an occupational therapy program.

One of ARC’s goals is to develop and support educational programs and institutions that contribute to a better educated workforce prepared for 21st century careers.

The Allied Health Simulation Learning Lab will implement brand new, technologically advanced simulation-based learning experiences — which don’t currently exist in the region — for health science undergraduate and future School of Health Professions graduate students.

Two high-fidelity simulators (infant and adult manikins and associated software) will be purchased and incorporated in the health science courses and proposed graduate programs, and used for training for local health care professionals.

“This simulation lab will help our students become a readily employable workforce with an advanced skill set with job potential for the local community,” said Douglas J. Pisano, Ph.D., dean and professor, School of Health Professions. “The added bonus is that local medical professionals will also benefit from the lab to enhance their clinical skills.”

The lab will be eventually be located in Francis Hall once it is renovated to house the School of Health Professions. Health science students will begin to use the simulators this coming spring semester in Murphy Building, where the lab will be located in the interim.

ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.

ARC invests in activities that address the five goals identified in the Commission’s strategic plan: economic opportunities, ready workforce, critical infrastructure, natural and cultural assets, and leadership and community capacity.


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