Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heath Science Center Ready for Students

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heath Science Center Ready for Students

Article excerpt

A couple of weeks after the October 2013 groundbreaking for a new health center, Seton Hill University's retired president, JoAnne Woodyard Boyle, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease - at age 78.

This fall, the 550-plus students in Seton Hill's Division of Natural and Health Sciences will enter the $23 million JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Health Sciences Center, named to honor the leader whose mission was to meet a need for health care professionals.

"As the number of doctors in the region began to dwindle, president emerita Boyle found it necessary to build programs that would educate the future health care workers of this region," said Mary C. Finger, university president.

The 52,000-square-foot facility, designed by Pittsburgh architects MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni, was funded by alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and a $7 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the largest gift in Seton Hill history, Ms. Finger said.

Behind the building's curved, three-story glass atrium are classrooms, faculty offices and common areas. There is separate learning and research lab space for the school's chemistry, biology, dietitian, nutrition and physician assistant majors.

Once spread among three buildings on campus, physician assistant majors will now have lectures and practice procedures and will study human cadavers on the building's ground floor.

"Having the entire physician assistant program all in one building will help with the learning experience," said Mary Harmon, who is in her fourth year in the program.

"The largest impact to the educational experience will be the new cadaver lab," said James France, director of the physician assistant program. In the past, students developed their gross anatomy skills at the University of Pittsburgh's cadaver lab. …

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