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January 30, 2002

ULM'S Allied Health secures federal funding for new building

The University of Louisiana at Monroe will soon proudly receive $500,000 for constructing a new building to house the Allied Health Sciences program. The funding was made available through the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill, which was passed by Congress in December 2001.

The Allied Health Sciences Building will house the faculty and programs within the College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions. That college includes programs like Occupational Therapy, Dental Hygiene, and Communicative Disorders. This new, interdisciplinary-based clinic will provide state-of-the-art health services to Louisiana citizens.

Dr. David Irwin, Dean of the College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions, says, "The Allied Health Sciences Building will significantly impact the future of allied health professionals in Louisiana. The building will allow for expansion of classrooms, teaching clinics, and research facilities. The faculty and students in the College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions Citizens will be able to expand services to citizens in Northeast Louisiana through the teaching clinics in Communicative Disorders, Dental Hygiene and Occupational Therapy, " said Irwin

"The commitment of Senators Landrieu and Breaux has been outstanding. They have realized the importance of this project to the citizens of Northeast Louisiana. This building will benefit many families in need of quality health care," said Irwin.

"This new building will provide a much needed boost to the University and the entire community," said U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. "The Allied Health Sciences program will complement the College of Pharmacy at ULM and will bolster northeast Louisiana strongly in the health area."

Former President of ULM, Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., said, "We deeply appreciate the funding support for this important project. These funds will be utilized, together with matching state funds, for the planning and construction of a new Allied Health Sciences building. This project is vital for the future of our health sciences programs and will also have a far-reaching impact on this region of our state through the clinics provided to the tri-area citizens. This certainly demonstrates the commitment of Senators Landrieu and Breaux to higher education in general and to ULM in particular."

Dr. Tom Rakes, Acting President of ULM said, "We are delighted with the continued support of our Allied Health Department at the federal level. This funding shows us that Senator Landrieu is committed to helping ULM, and for that we are very appreciative."

Area health professionals also say this funding is a step in the right direction. Sarah Allen, Speech Language Pathologist at St. Francis, and 1991 graduate from ULM, says, "It's a very pragmatic approach, because this is how it is done in the real world. It will benefit clients, families, students, and the whole community. The project is designed to have everyone working together in a collaborative effort and I think it will be great."

Senator Breaux said, "The Labor and Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill we passed in the Senate could very well be the most important federal funding bill to help Louisianians. Programs that support the education and healthcare needs of our state-which rely heavily on federal support-are provided through this appropriations bill."

Monroe Chamber of Commerce officials supported the funding request and praised both congressional and university officials.

Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said, "This is a project that the University has been pursuing for several years. We applaud former President Lawson Swearingen, Acting President Tom Rakes, and the Allied Health Sciences leadership for their aggressive pursuit of funds for these valuable programs."

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