Unification News for December 1998

New Integrated Health Sciences Center and Clinic Dedicated at University of Bridgeport

by Christine Hempowicz—Bridgeport, CT

The University of Bridgeport dedicated a newly-renovated Warner Hall on Friday, Nov. 20, thanks to a $2 million grant from the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA). The renovated building is the first step toward an array of new medical degrees available to UB students from all over the world. Rev. and Mrs. Moon, founders of PWPA, presided over the dedication ceremony.

The new integrated Health Sciences degrees to be offered at UB will include pre-medicine, pre-chiropractic, pre-naturopathic, pre-dental hygiene, medical technology, dental hygiene, nutrition, doctor of chiropractic and doctor of naturopathic medicine. The integrated offering will begin in phases, with the first phase planned for the fall of 1998.

The plan is part of an ongoing campaign in UB’s health sciences offering to integrate medical disciplines, according to UB vice president Donna Marino. "As time goes on, it becomes abundantly clear that no one form of medical treatment is the perfect solution to every medical problem. At UB, we believe that integrating different forms of medical education will unlock many doors which have refused to yield under the pressure of one medical discipline or another. UB’s Health Sciences Center will be a center for integrated medical problem-solving and should evolve into a place where new light will shine onto heretofore unsolved medical mysteries. That is our hope.

"This first gift for this Health Sciences Center from the PWPA is most welcome. It is evidence of the genuine concern for man’s worldwide welfare by both the University and this organization, dedicated to promoting world peace. Education will always be our most potent weapon against ignorance, the single most effective barrier between mankind and his life goals. In medicine, the ultimate goal must be to solve every physical and mental problem which stands between each of us and living a full life. Creating a place for the study of the integrated medical sciences is a healthy first step."

When completed, the eight-floor health Sciences Center and Clinic will include clinic space, examination rooms, laboratory space, offices for administration and patient use, teaching spaces and residence for graduate students and visiting teachers. The facade has already been refurbished and the building’s infrastructure and systems have also been updated. The 105,000 square-foot building will be dedicated to health science study, a health clinic and health science student residences.

"The expansive lobby welcoming students and patients to the renovated Health Sciences Center and Clinic is a big change.

"‘Eight months ago this building was a disaster. It was occupied by seagulls and pigeons,’ said George Santa, chairman of buildings and grounds.

"That wasn’t all. Pieces of the ceiling littered the floor and a leaky roof left two feet of water in the basement.

"Three years ago, school trustee Santa said, the university was told it would cost about $8 million to repair Warner Hall, a former student dormitory built in 1966.

"Kyung Hee Chin, executive dean of UB’s Health Sciences, saw it as the perfect site to bring the school’s health disciplines under one roof.… Project manager Joseph Marolda, an electrical contractor from Fairfield, transformed the building from bird hangout to a haven for science and healing in seven months for $2 million.

"‘The building was badly damaged by water, but it was a sound structure," Marolda said. ‘It was quite a challenge.’

"He installed new mechanical equipment, 430 windows, and a circular driveway, among other repairs."

It includes "the naturopathic clinic, its faculty, classrooms and intern rooms; the College of Chiropractic; the Institute of Oriental Medicine; a dental hygiene clinic; and the nutritional clinic. Graduate students and visiting teachers will live on the top floors of the eight-story building.

"A finishing touch to the building’s transformation is a massive stone fountain designed by landscape artist In Ho Yoon of New Jersey. When you look at the sculpture from the windows of the fourth floor lounge, the stones form the Chinese character for ‘heaven’. The stones, the water—and a tree that will soon be planted—symbolize what the building represents, says Chin: ‘life and healing’."

"For patients using alternative healing such as chiropractic and naturopathic medicine, and students who want to learn this holistic approach, the University of Bridgeport is trying to become tops on the East Coast in this type of medical practice.

"The College of Chiropractic has been part of the university since 1990 and last year the College of Naturopathic Medicine was established. About 80 people came to a recent open house of the College of Naturopathic Medicine. About 30 students are enrolled with 15 more expected to start in the spring, Frank Zolli, dean of the chiropractic college, said 255 students are in his school. Both specialties are four-year graduate programs.

"Dean Ron Hobbs, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, said they work so that drugs and surgery eventually will be seen as alternative medicine."

For further information about this project, write to Donna Marino, University of Bridgeport, Cortright Hall, 219 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06601 or call (203)576-4502.

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