Progress is underway on a new inter-professional clinic space on Concordia University Wisconsin’s campus.
As part of the construction plans, the current School of Health Professions (SHP) conference room and faculty/staff office spaces will be converted into a 9,150-square-foot clinic. Approximately 50 SHP offices will be moved to a renovated Heidelberg residence hall to make room for the new design.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of the spring semester. It is supported by a generous grant from the Russell & Josephine Kott Memorial Charitable Trust, with equipment supported by an additional grant from the Patrick J. and Janet L. Thompson Family Foundation.
The clinic will largely be utilized by CUW’s physical therapy and occupational therapy programs as a home-base for their pro bono clinics, which have served uninsured or underinsured community members for more than two decades. Beyond that, the new clinic holds potential for use and cross-curricular collaboration among a variety of other health professions programs at Concordia, including social work, rehabilitation science, physician assistant, speech-language pathology, and diagnostic medical sonography.
The new clinic space will consist of:
- A reception area
- A splinting area
- An open gym area for rehab and wellness activities
- A simulated apartment
- A simulation space comprised of four rooms with hospital beds
- An observation room for students
- Private and group treatment rooms
- Meeting rooms
- A large storage room
- An office space for clinic supervisors
History and growth opportunities
Concordia began to offer pro bono clinics over 20 years ago as a way to provide students with valuable clinical experiences while also serving community members in need of occupational or physical therapy services that are no longer covered by their insurance, or due to the fact that they have no insurance. Over the years, PT and OT students have utilized classrooms or various off-campus community facilities for the clinic. However, ongoing space constraints and logistical challenges made it clear that a permanent, on-campus home was needed.
“For years, Concordia has been proud to serve community clients who have unique healthcare challenges that limit their ability to perform everyday tasks,” says Lois Harrison, PT, DPT, MS, associate professor of physical therapy and inter-professional clinic coordinator. “In addition to providing a realistic clinical setting for our students to apply skills they are learning in our professional programs, we hope the clinic will provide clinical/fieldwork placements for students as well. It’s a win-win scenario for the students and community.”
The clinic, which will be nestled between Concordia’s Patrick T. Ferry Hall and Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic, will have a dedicated exterior entrance with nearby parking for community guests to utilize the facility with ease. Handicap accessibility with the new space will also be improved to better meet the needs of clients. The design of the clinic, particularly the exercise spaces, will be undertaken with an emphasis on accessibility, ensuring the clinic will be maximally accessible for a variety of individuals.
The new clinic presents opportunities for growth. Currently, the PT/OT pro bono clinics run just two days a week, an insufficient schedule to accommodate the wait list of patients who have expressed need. The new, dedicated space will allow for services up to five days a week. Healthy student enrollment in participating programs ensures there’s enough manpower to meet the demand. Concordia’s Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science program, the common pre-cursor degree to the physical therapy or occupational therapy graduate track, boasts the second-largest enrollment of any undergraduate program offered on the CUW campus.
“We’re so thrilled to be able to expand our reach and offer students and guests access to a brand-new facility,” says Linda Samuel, PhD, dean of the School of Health Professions. “Concordia’s health professions students make up a significant portion of our student population. As we seek to continue to position ourselves as leaders in the field, preparing health professions for excellence and to extend Christian care past graduation, it’s important that our facilities match the caliber of our curriculum.”
Explore Concordia’s School of Health Professions offerings here.
— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at email@example.com or 262-243-2149.
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