By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Due to the generosity of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to St. Ambrose University, the wing that houses the university’s Master of Physician Assistant Program (MPAS) was dedicated in his family’s honor.
The Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver Health Sciences Education Wing, located in the health sciences building at the corner of Marquette and Lombard streets, was dedicated and blessed Aug. 25.
St. Ambrose University President Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, noted that the university dedicated the original health sciences building in 2010. “This was the result of the generosity of many and a wonderful collaboration with Genesis Health Systems in response to the community’s need for highly trained health care professionals.”
In June 2014 the first class of MPAS students began studies at the newest state-of-the-art facility, supported by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.
Since 1987, the trust has distributed more than $316 million through 2,365 individual grants. The largest percentage “support Roy J. Carver’s passions for assisting students from Iowa and Illinois to achieve their goals of completing a college education and for supporting biomedical research and scholarship,” Sr. Lescinski said. “St. Ambrose is blessed to have received more than $2.5 million in support from the trust.” Approximately half has supported capital projects or program needs with the balance providing scholarships.
Bishop Martin Amos said a prayer, expressing gratitude for the generosity of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver family. The bishop asked for blessings on those who teach, study and learn in the Carver wing and “from this place may service to others bring healing and hope to our world.” He then blessed and sprinkled the plaque with holy water.
Sandy Cassady, dean of the College of Health and Human Services and vice president for strategic initiative, spoke. She noted that in 2010 the Center for Health Sciences Education housed nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy under one roof. The center provided space for lectures, laboratory simulations, studying and many learning materials in a shared resource room.
The addition in 2014 provided additional space for the Master of Physician Assistant studies program with state-of-the-art simulation areas.
“The combined laboratory and simulation experience help prepare our students so they maximize the learning experiences in clinical settings during clinical education rotations, field work and internships.”
The four departments enroll nearly 470 students, an increase from approximately 300 students in 2010.
Enrollment is expected to reach 500 when the physician assistant program enrolls its third cohort next summer.
Cassady said, “We are very grateful for the generous support of the Carver Trust and others who have supported this terrific facility and the new addition. Their support benefits our students, future employers and the patients and clients they will serve.”