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A rhapsody for healthcare education

When Arnold S. Goldstein was a young man, years before he completed his law degree, published his first of many books on entrepreneurship, or became professor of pharmacy and acting dean of what was then the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, his sister Ilene Order challenged him to learn Rhapsody in Blue for the piano. The composition, she said, was in his blood.

So, too, was an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, according to Goldstein’s wife, Marlene. Ignoring his inexperience with the instrument, Goldstein jumped on the challenge, immediately getting his hands dirty as he learned to maneuver them over the keys.

It is precisely this style of learning-by-doing that will be celebrated and honed in the new Arnold S. Goldstein Simulation Laboratories Suite in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, which was unveiled on Thursday in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

In 2011, Marlene invested $2 million to name the new suite in memory of her late husband, who passed away in 2010. Orbis Education, Bouvé’s partner in providing online healthcare education programs, has since invested another $500,000 in additional funding. “This has been a dream come true. As I came to Bouvé it was an idea—now, with the help of many we have brought it to fruition,” said Terry Fulmer, Bouvé’s dean.

Thursday’s event featured remarks from several of Goldstein’s family members and friends, all of whom highlighted the former faculty member’s thirst for knowledge and dedication to Northeastern experiential-education model. “Arnold loved this university and everything it stands for,” said Goldstein’s wife. “He would be very proud of what it is doing now.”

Provost Stephen W. Director, Orbis Education Chief Product Officer Scott McCormick, Northeastern benefactor Marlene Goldstein, and Bouvé College of Health Sciences Dean Terry Fulmer celebrated the inauguration of the Arnold S. Goldstein Simulation Laboratories Suite on Thursday. Photo by Casey Bayer.

“Bouvé is a hotbed of one of our most distinguishing features: experiential learning,” added Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.

The lab suite features a host of video capture technologies, four simulation bays, two debriefing rooms, and nine high fidelity patient simulators. It will facilitate healthcare instruction, utilizing computer-driven mannequins and lifelike models, and will allow faculty and students to replicate clinical symptoms and modulate realistic human responses.

The suite will enable a collaborative learning environment for students across health professions—from nurses and physician assistants to physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and pharmacists. By training students in techniques designed to ensure patient safety, improve outcomes, and prevent medical errors, the simulation suite will have a significant impact on the next generation of healthcare providers and bolster national efforts in health education, research, and service.

“The challenge up until now is you’ve had people in hospitals being forced to work together but we weren’t educating students to do that,” said associate clinical professor Jamie Musler, who directs the new facility. “At some point, if you’re going to change a culture, whether it’s medicine or anything else, you have to do it from the ground up.”

The facility reflects the university’s longstanding commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities that support research and teaching. “To my father Northeastern has always been one of the top universities in the world but just needed to grow into that role,” said Meredith Goldstein. “And he was proud because he knew this before anyone else did. Whatever Northeastern wanted to become, he believed it was possible.”