A Message from the Dean

Kathleen S. MattTake a look around. We are the future of healthcare.

The College of Health Sciences is the living embodiment of the future of healthcare. And this future is not simply something that our students, faculty, and staff hope to see one day; they are making it happen here and now. So where exactly should you look to see this future?

Start by opening your eyes at our STAR Campus Health Sciences Complex. Our faculty’s innovative design, laboratories, and state-of-the-art clinics are the home of cutting-edge research. Each weekday, you’ll see more than 500 faculty, staff, students, patients, research subjects, and visitors engaging in our clinics, classrooms, and labs.

Look at new healthcare legislation – signed right here on our campus. In July, a new telemedicine act opened up lines of communication between patients in Delaware and healthcare experts across the nation. And Gov. Markell was back in September, ensuring nurses practice with more autonomy and to the full extent of their education when SB57 and SB101 were signed into law.

Look and listen to how we’re communicating at our brand new Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, which is opening to the public this fall. The clinic is taking a “blended” approach to communications impairments with a winning combination of direct services from our faculty, staff, and partner agencies.

Behold the quality of life The Parkinson’s Clinic is giving to patients and their caregivers as we help them live a higher quality of life despite their disease. Patients are receiving unparalleled and ongoing individual care as specialists are teaming up with our nurse practitioners, physical and speech therapists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, and mental health professionals.

Observe our people at work in the world-class Delaware Physical Therapy Clinic. Our Physical Therapy Program’s long-standing, highly-respected reputation in its field now has a tremendous facility to match. The program has doubled in size and more and more patients are on their personal road to recovery. And this state of the art clinic is open to the public and serving patients every weekday.

Look at all of the Delawareans who visit our Nurse Managed Health Center (NHMC), where long waits and rushed medical visits simply have no place. Equipped with interdisciplinary, prevention-focused primary care, wellness services, and telehealth technology, NHMC is relentlessly focused on taking the time to treat the whole person in our inviting 5,000 square feet space. Our comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate care makes all the difference. We’re focused on primary care and prevention. Our nutrition students, exercise science students, behavioral health students, and health coaches all have a hand in pulling together health plans and getting people on their way to living life to the fullest.

Peer across the street to the Fred Rust Ice Arena where our concussion researchers in our Kinesiology & Applied Physiology department are uncovering the variables to make future contact and collision sport athletes safer – whether they’re playing for the Hens or lacing up for the first time in youth sports.

Put on your scrubs and watch our School of Nursing students in action at our simulation laboratories, where our faculty are using technology and Healthcare Theatre simulated patients to allow our students to practice communication and clinical skills in a realistic environment.

Stop into our labs, where researchers from Medical Laboratory Sciences are studying cancer metastasis, and researchers from Behavioral Health and Nutrition are studying infant feeding.

Look at the leap forward taken by our First Step Program. Student ideas patented in the program are being converted to solutions for complicated health issues like coordinating muscle movements for children with cerebral palsy and combating infant mortality with sterile birth supply packs.

Count the record number of freshmen students in our Class of 2019. When they graduate, the world of healthcare won’t look the same as it does today. And our educational opportunities evolve to mirror these changes as we continue to adapt and add to our rich curriculum.

And look at the tremendous impact we’re having on our community. We aren’t keeping these wonderful facilities, treatments, and people all to ourselves; we are joyfully open to the public. Along with our partners, we’re not just improving regional health services; we’re also conducting research to tackle the day’s most pressing health challenges. In our Anatomy Lab, classrooms full of Delaware high school students and teachers are attending personalized, hands-on workshops led by UD faculty and undergraduate students. In our Physical Therapy Clinic, 18,904 patients received treatment in the last year alone. In a Wilmington homeless center, our nurse practitioners are providing primary care to Delawareans.

But the state of Delaware isn’t the only community for us to serve. Just last summer, 79 of our students took on global clinical internships, gaining hands-on patient experience everywhere from Peru to India to Vietnam.

So whether you are a future student, faculty member, parent, patient, alum, business leader, or healthcare professional, you’d better keep your eyes on us. And if you’re looking, you’ll see who’s leading the charge towards the healthcare of the not-so-distant horizon – the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences.

All the best,

Kathleen S. Matt, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean, College of Health Sciences
Executive Director, Delaware Health Sciences Alliance

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