Foundation grant to support investment in health sciences
The Massachusetts-based foundation will help fund cutting-edge research equipment for one of the college’s largest and fastest-growing academic programs.
“The Health Sciences undergraduate program prepares leaders and innovators who excel in a wide variety of careers in the health professions,” said professor Kyle McInnis, the department chair.
The Cummings grant represents “a tremendous opportunity to provide state-of-the-art laboratory equipment that will enhance student experiential learning and faculty scholarly achievements,” McInnis said.
Mary Noonan, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, said Health Sciences is a burgeoning field of study at Merrimack because it marries students’ passion for improving people’s lives with cutting-edge education and research. The program blends interactive lectures, laboratory experience, directed research and internships.
“As the population ages and health-care becomes an ever-larger piece of our economy, society will need more and more professionals with experience in the latest techniques and technologies,” said Noonan.
“The Cummings Foundation, in providing this funding, recognizes that Merrimack is one of the institutions that will make a difference to the future of health care.”
The Cummings grant follows on the heels of funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support McInnis’ innovative program combatting childhood obesity. That program involves Merrimack undergraduates in hands-on, community-based research with area youth, and includes planning for a national rollout of the program through YMCAs.
For more information about the Cummings Foundation and its “$100K for 100” initiative, see http://www.cummingsfoundation.org
Assistant professor of health sciences Juliana Cohen is the lead author on a study published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” on Sept. 11 that indicates many school children don’t have enough time to eat lunch.
Backed by a significant grant from a major health-care foundation, a Merrimack College professor and the Merrimack Valley YMCA will expand a local initiative on child obesity nationwide.