Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Center in Springfield receives $722,000 equipment investment

Investment came from a Washington-based company, Spacelabs

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(UMass Center at Springfield/ Facebook)

(UMass Center at Springfield/ Facebook)

(UMass Center at Springfield/ Facebook)

By Kathrine Esten, Assistant News Editor

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SPRINGFIELD — The nursing laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Center in Springfield has received a $722,000 investment from Washington-based medical equipment manufacturer Spacelabs.

The investment is in the form of donated state-of-the-art equipment which will be used to benefit the college of nursing’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program. The equipment includes two Sonicaid fetal/maternal monitors, ambulatory blood pressure monitors, multiple nursing monitors and invasive cardiac outputs, according to the WAMC Northeast Report.

Stephen Cavanagh, dean of the college of nursing, said the introduction of the Spacelabs equipment and the ability to simulate managing multiple patients simultaneously gives students opportunities to work at new levels of real-world situations, according to UMass’ Office of News and Media Relations.

At an April 17 grand opening of the newly expanded nursing lab, UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said that it was “exciting that Spacelabs understands the benefits of investing in the college of nursing.”

“Nurses are at the frontline of healthcare, using these tools extensively,” Subbaswamy said, according to the press release from News and Media Relations. “By providing our students with access to this equipment and fostering faculty research partnerships, Spacelabs has created an opportunity to develop the best possible healthcare management tools while contributing to our students’ educational experience and job training.”

Subbaswamy was joined at the event by area public officials, hospital administrators, UMass alumni, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Spacelabs President Sujit Kumar.

Kumar said “many of the most important advances in healthcare are coming from outstanding interdisciplinary research and training programs like UMass Amherst,” and that he looked forward to hearing feedback from the students in the program, according to the press release.

“We are proud of our relationship with UMass and the college of nursing, and are impressed by the quality education they provide nursing students who serve the greater Springfield area,” Kumar added.

Cavanagh described the expansion of the nursing program in recent years in a video interview with MassLive.

“The school and the University combined have spent over a million dollars now in upgrading the facilities within the center, enabling our students to really be able to practice real-world clinical situations in a safe environment,” Cavanagh said.

The 17-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program moved to the UMass Center in Springfield in 2017. In Springfield, students are in close proximity to some of the area’s leading healthcare facilities. Currently, over 80 students are in the program and Cavanagh said that approximately 95 students will be joining next semester, more than doubling the program’s size.

Cavanagh added, “Our students at the Springfield center will use Spacelabs equipment for inter-professional education initiatives with other colleges and healthcare providers in Springfield and Western Massachusetts.”

Kathrine Esten can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @KathrineEsten.

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