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Published: 8/22/2008

$400,000 grants to fund Mercy College upgrades

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER
 A marker notes the 90th anniversary of Mercy Hospital and the Mercy School of Nursing. A marker notes the 90th anniversary of Mercy Hospital and the Mercy School of Nursing.
THE BLADE/HERRAL LONG Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Mercy College of Northwest Ohio has received more than $400,000 for campus renovations and improvements, which will begin next month.

A $189,677 federal grant and a $225,000 state grant were announced yesterday at the unveiling of a state historical marker commemorating the 90th anniversary of the former Mercy Hospital and the Mercy School of Nursing at 2221 Madison Ave., outside the entrance to what now is Mercy College of Northwest Ohio. The anniversary was celebrated on June 21.

The school of nursing became Mercy College of Northwest Ohio in 1993 when the Ohio Board of Regents allowed Mercy to begin an associate degree program for nursing students. Members of the first graduating class received their associate degrees in December, 1994. In 2000, the school won accreditation to offer four-year degrees.

The grant money continues a series of $6 million in renovations that started in 1996. The past renovations were sponsored by Mercy Health Partners, said James Harter, vice president of administrative services for the college.

"I'm so thrilled to help Mercy College to fully move into the 21st century and the improvement of [the students'] health education," said U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

"This particular organization has given us health and they have given us life. They have a particular penchant for serving the needy," she said.

The federal grant was earmarked for complete renovation of the former Mercy Hospital's coronary critical care unit into a 60-seat classroom and clinical space for Mercy College's continuing professional education division, said Denise Hudgin, director of communications for the college.

State Sen. Teresa Fedor, who was born at Mercy Hospital in 1956, announced the state grant.

"The grant is critical to keep students updated on the latest technology so that they are best able to serve their patients" after graduating, she said.

The grant will be used to renovate an unused area of the Mercy Healthcare Center, increase computer lab space and concentrate all student computer labs in one area.

The project includes the development of a 40-user student lab and a 20-user student instructional computer lab and expansion of the health information technology lab, also to be relocated to the student computer center.

Additionally, the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Auxiliary provided $19,000 for technological equipment of the renovated space for continuing professional education. The Andersons Fund Supporting Organization of the Toledo Community Foundation gave $10,000 to furnish it.

The renovation is expected to take three months, during which the college will remain open, Ms. Hudgin said.

Cheryl Nutter, manager of continuing professional education at Mercy College, said the renovation will provide "tremendous" support for the effort to grow the college's certificate programs such as phlebotomy, coding, medical office assistant, home health aide, community health worker, activity professional, and medical transcriptionist.

A record number of 843 students for the upcoming semester have registered at the Toledo campus for classes in degree programs, the college spokesman said. Mercy's classes start Monday.

Contact Mike Sigov at:

sigov@theblade.com

or 419-7246-74.



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