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EMU Orthotics and Prosthetics program debuts future lab and classroom space

YPSILANTI, MI, MAY 08, 2015 – Eastern Michigan University has unveiled the Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) program areas currently under renovation in the historic Rackham Building. The mid-renovation preview, conducted as the summer semester began, included a tour of future classroom and laboratory space, including the Lucille and Otto Becker Clinical Suite, a state-of-the-art patient exam suite sponsored by Becker Orthopedic.

EMU's O&P program is a point of pride for the University, said Dr. Murali Nair, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. "The College of Health and Human Services is growing – in fact, it's the fastest-growing college here at EMU," said Dean Nair. "We've built a reputation of excellence through long-established programs like social work and nursing, providing the backbone that supports us as we continue to add programs and grow the college."

O&P Tour"The O&P program is particularly distinct," Dean Nair continued. "It is one of only a few accredited master's degree programs of its kind in the country, and the only one in Michigan."

Started in 2003, EMU's program prepares students for a one-year residency in each discipline or a dual 18-months residency, allowing students to become skilled in both areas.

According to Wendy Beattie, Clinical and Program Director, while the students will have access to a machine shop and advanced equipment, the program stresses the clinical aspect. "High-quality patient care is our number-one goal," Beattie said as she led a group through the construction site that will house the machine room. "Our students will be competent in fabrication, but caring for patients will always remain our cornerstone."

The Lucille and Otto Becker Clinical Suite is central this patient-focused approach. The suite will feature five patient care rooms, all with video capture capabilities. "Our students will be able to evaluate and treat patients in a real world setting," said Beattie. "Faculty and students can then review and evaluate ways that the students can further enhance their skills, optimizing all aspects of patient interaction."

The Rackham Building was built in 1939. It was the first facility built for the specific purpose of educating Special Education teachers. Eleanor Roosevelt visited EMU's campus in the 1940s to observe the laboratory where teachers learned techniques for educating special needs students. Rackham was noted for unique art deco details, including Franklin wildlife tiles and elaborate marbling. The ongoing $3.6 million renovation preserves these historic details while modernizing the facility and updating classroom and laboratory space.

"These updates are necessary for our growing programs to thrive, but it's important to preserve the integrity of our historic campus," said EMU president Susan Martin. "I'm thrilled that the historic Rackham Building will once again be on the cutting edge of education without sacrificing the details that make it unique."

Additional naming opportunities are available for the O&P space in the historic Rackham Building. For more information, contact Rae Anne Yuskowatz, Director of Development, College of Health and Human Services: raeanne.yuskowatz@emich.edu or 734-487-8040.

RELATED: Eastern Michigan graduate student's research, development win national award for exceptional promise in orthotics & prosthetics


EMU Foundation is located at 112 Welch Hall, 850 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197 Phone: 734.484.1322