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A Message from the Dean

Kathy Matt

Addressing the healthcare challenges of the 21st century will require innovative approaches to education, research, and clinical practice.

At the University of Delaware, we have created a unique new learning environment where our undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff are working together with our business, clinical and nonprofit partners to create new approaches to health and wellness, clinical diagnostics and effective treatment.

A critical part of this team are the patients and their families who help us identify the problems and design the solutions. We have created a physical place where this can happen in our new Health Sciences Complex on the STAR Campus. The building includes core research laboratories, innovative design and classroom spaces, and clinics that are open to the public.

In this environment, our students and their mentors are challenged every day by patients who walk through our doors with complex, chronic health problems.

Nineteenth-century developments in antibiotics and vaccines have brought an end to many diseases and conditions that shortened lives 70 or 80 years ago. While those developments have had a profound effect on longevity, we’re left with chronic conditions that are much more complicated to treat.

It’s critical to understand not only the physical causes of health problems but also their social determinants. Multi-faceted problems demand multi-faceted solutions, and we’re preparing our students to develop those solutions by providing them with experiences that go far beyond traditional classrooms and textbooks.

Through programs like First Step, Healthcare Theatre, service learning, undergraduate research, simulation labs, clinical experiences, and study abroad,

we’re providing them with experiential learning and positioning them to make discoveries and address real healthcare problems. And of course these problems are complex and so their solutions will involve expertise from the entire university to look at these issues in fresh, new ways. Some of the best solutions come about when we bring a broad range of disciplines to the table, and that’s one of the most important lessons we’re teaching our students in the interprofessional environment we’ve created here at the University of Delaware.

So, whether you’re a student looking for a school, an alum wanting to get involved, a clinician or business leader seeking an engaged partner, or a community member looking for a medical home—we invite you to join us as we continue to build a platform for creativity and set the stage for the innovation needed to address today’s healthcare challenges.

All the best,

Kathleen S. Matt, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean, College of Health Sciences
Executive Director, Delaware Health Sciences Alliance


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