- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - A historic building on Eastern Michigan University’s campus has taken on a new role as the home to the school’s graduate program in orthotics and prosthetics.

The program moved into the newly updated Rackham Hall, joining the Ypsilanti school’s programs for exercise science, nursing, occupational therapy, nutrition services, physician assistant and social work. An open house is Tuesday following the school’s Board of Regents meeting.

Work to the building is part of a roughly $10 million renovation project, including about $3.5 million for the physician assistant program and $6.3 million for other work including the orthotics and prosthetics program’s new home, according to the school.

The move expands the orthotics and prosthetics department, allowing for multiple classes and groups to take place at the same time. Students in the two-year program will be able to treat patients in a real-world setting and there’s a plaster lab for modifying molds of body parts.

“We’ve moved from having a single lab and classroom to a space that has flexible rooms, which function both as classrooms and laboratories,” Wendy Beattie, clinical and program director of the orthotics and prosthetics program, said in a statement. “In addition, everything is now in one building, enabling better communication and interaction between faculty and students.”

There’s also a research and development lab with a machine shop and advanced equipment such as 3D printers that can be used to make life-like bones, hands, ears, arms and legs. An expanded fabrication lab is where students will learn to make orthoses and prostheses.

“High-quality patient care is our number-one goal,” Beattie said. “Our students will be competent in fabrication, but caring for patients will always remain our cornerstone.”




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