Hospital foundation’s gift funds student hub

When students, faculty and visitors step in the main entrance of the renovated Health and Human Services building, one of the first things they will see will be the welcoming new Wood County Hospital Foundation Student Hub — the gateway to the building’s important expansion and transformation. The $50,000 hub represents a show of support for the University by one of its most prominent partners.

With comfortable chairs, workspaces and computer charging areas, the Student Hub has been designed to enable students to network, collaborate on projects or work individually using their computers and notebooks. A lounge area around the perimeter will be complemented by a workspace in the middle.

The hub is a continuation of the hospital and its foundation’s engagement with BGSU. The hospital’s most recent, innovative partnership with the University was the creation of the Falcon Health Center, on East Wooster Street, serving students, faculty and staff. Operated by the hospital, the facility replaced the former Student Health Center in the Health and Human Services Building.

“BGSU has enjoyed a long-term relationship with Wood County Hospital and its foundation, and I am very pleased they chose to name the student hub space in the newly renovated Health and Human Services Building, scheduled to be completed in 2016,” said Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the college. “The Wood County Hospital name will be prominently displayed, illustrating their support of our students and educational programs within the college.

“Every donation helps us extend what we’re doing,” Huff added. “There’s a lot more that we can do because of the additional funding.”

Relocating the Student Health Center freed up space in the building, which houses programs in criminal justice, communication sciences and disorders, pre-nursing, gerontology, applied health science, social work, public health and medical laboratory sciences. The Food and Nutrition Program will soon move there from its current home, and expanding forensics and laboratory sciences programs will also use the space. The basement will be partially refurbished to provide additional individual and collaborative work areas for students.

With updated lab, research and classroom facilities, the $9.2 million overall expansion and renovation is part of the campus master plan to modernize academic learning areas.

The college currently enrolls over 1,800 undergraduate and 200 graduate students who will soon be entering a variety of health and human service professions.

“The foundation board wants to continue to partner with the College of Health and Human Services and stay engaged with students, some of whom may stay in the community and be employed by the hospital,” said Cristy Gray, vice president for development. “The student hub is a natural complement to our sponsorship of the annual Ned Baker Lecture in Public Health and endowed scholarship for students in the college.”