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LOWELL - The University of Massachusetts Lowell today announced the creation of the new School of Health and Environment - which is designed to teach and practice a bold new vision that links individual wellbeing to healthy communities and balanced ecosystems.
The school, which includes the departments of Health and Clinical Sciences, Nursing, Physical Therapy and Work Environment, demonstrates how a public university campus can promote human health and development while also serving as a model of regional sustainable development.
In welcoming remarks, Chancellor William T. Hogan said the School of Health and Environment is a significant step in "our long-term efforts to demonstrate the ways a public campus can help a region sustain its quality of life."
U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan, who is co-chair of the Sustainable Development Caucus, applauded UMass Lowell for its "continuing leadership role in the region, focusing its research and teaching on the complex interactions that make healthy industries and vibrant communities sustainable."
State Sen. Steven C. Panagiotakos also noted the significance of the innovative initiative. "The creation of this new school at UMass Lowell is a great example of why we need to support public higher education in Massachusetts," he said.
The school, which was officially accepted by the University of Massachusetts system this semester, combines outstanding teaching and research, a public university's commitment to community service, proven success in interdisciplinary problem-solving and a 21st-century vision of health and sustainability.
"The new school is guided by a vision of human health that links individual wellbeing to healthy communities and environments," said Dr. David H. Wegman, dean. "We are planning innovative ways to combine outstanding teaching, the University's commitment to community service and our proven success in interdisciplinary problem-solving. All of this will improve the quality of the educational experience for our students."
At today's celebration, former dean of the College of Health Professions Janice M. Stecchi of Dracut was honored as the first recipient of the Provost's Award for Lifetime Achievement. A faculty member for 32 years, Stecchi served as dean of the College of Health Professions for 11 years before retiring last year. During her tenure, the college instituted a Doctorate in Nursing (awarded jointly with UMass Boston) and a Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
The new school's mission is to promote human health and development that enables people to live in safe and productive communities and environmentally sustainable economies through:
·l An array of academic programs in the health and environment professions that prepare graduates to practice their professions with knowledge, competence and respect for the interdependence of human and global wellbeing;
·l Proven success in interdisciplinary research that increases understanding of health, disease and disability and their social and environmental determinants; and
l A public university's commitment to community service, advancing prevention-based strategies in health and environmental policy.