Torchlight | Fall 2014

Center puts the focus on health 

Physical therapy
     Physical therapy students demonstrate equipment
     for testing a patient's balance in one of the
     new physical therapy labs in Folsom Hall
     during a recent open house.

In California, qualified healthcare professionals are always in demand. And Sac State is positioned to meet that need thanks to community support.

A Center for Health Professions is emerging, with several programs relocating to refurbished space in Folsom Hall. The School of Nursing was the first to make the transition, moving into not only a larger learning space but a more sophisticated one with smart classrooms and several high-tech patient simulation labs that allow students to practice their skills in hospital-like settings. The Department of Physical Therapy followed in 2013 with its own set of state-of-the-art learning spaces. And now plans are in place for the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology to join them.

It's a collaboration that will reap benefits for Sac State students and the Sacramento community as a whole. 

Nursing wraps up successful campaign

The recently concluded Campaign for Nursing raised nearly $2.1 million toward the move to Folsom Hall, which included significant upgrades in equipment, technology, furnishings and supplies along with scholarship funds for nursing students.

"We've always had an outstanding nursing program, but what Folsom Hall gave us was the facilities to educate in ways that we never were able to before," says Fred Baldini '82, MA '85 (Physical Education), dean of the College of Health and Human Services. "We can now do more research and reach out further into the community. And that wouldnít be possible without a lot of generous support."

The Priscilla R. Hebert Endowment and Scholarship was the capstone gift of the campaign. Hebert was a nurse in the Sacramento area for many years. Her husband's cousin Peggy Fox made the gift, knowing it would be a perfect way to honor Hebert.

"The nursing profession was very important to her. She was always passionate about it," Fox says. "We decided when she passed, we wanted to start a scholarship fund. Sac State was a perfect match. I know she would be absolutely thrilled to be able to help these students."

A new home for physical therapy

In 2012, Sac State's Department of Physical Therapy became one of the first programs in the state to offer a doctorate in physical therapy.

"The next step was the creation of amazing teaching and research facilities," says Baldini.

The department moved into Folsom Hall in 2013. Private support made the relocation possible, including partnerships with Western Health Advantage and others who are investing in Sac State students, and in the future of healthcare in the region.

"We are proud to support Sacramento State's nursing and physical therapy programs," says Western Health Advantage President and Chief Executive Officer Garry Maisel '80 (Business Administration). "It's a win-win situation when we can fund a local program that will educate tomorrow's healthcare professionals, which in turn will create more capacity in the healthcare system and make our community healthier."

Increasing clinical and outreach opportunities

Sac State's landmark speech pathology and audiology program, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, is also poised to transition into Folsom Hall, where it can expand its offerings for students and the community.

The Maryjane Rees Language, Speech and Hearing Center currently evaluates and treats more than 250 community members with speech, hearing and language problems. The new accommodations will allow the department to increase the number of clients students get to work with as part of their clinical practicums, and have an even greater impact.

Faculty members say the proximity to other students and faculty in similar fields will be a huge benefit of moving to Folsom Hall.

"Having nursing, physical therapy and speech pathology and audiology all in one building will allow us to have a lot of collaboration between faculty and students," says Robert Pieretti '99, MS '01 (Speech Pathology and Audiology), CRED '01, department chair. "We go to meetings around the state and everyone is striving to have these types of connections on their campuses."

Baldini agrees. "Having these programs housed here will allow us to serve our students and the community in ways not possible before."