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May 04, 2022

Gwynedd Mercy University will use $10 million gift to build health care innovation center at Montgomery County campus

The 65,000-square-foot facility will provide students with a space for immersive clinical simulations

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Gwynedd Mercy Healthcare Gift Courtesy/Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University's planned Frances M. Maguire Healthcare Innovation Center, pictured in the rendering above, will be the centerpiece of campus enhancements supported by a $10 million gift from The Maguire Foundation.

A $10 million gift made to Gwynedd Mercy University will be used to develop a health care innovation campus at the private Catholic school in Montgomery County.

The gift comes from The Maguire Foundation, an educational non-profit that also supports efforts to address hunger and homelessness in the Philadelphia region. The new facility will be named in honor of Frances M. Maguire, a 1955 graduate of the former Gwynedd-Mercy College. Maguire died in 2020 after a long career in business, philanthropy and the arts. 

“We cannot think of a better way to honor the memory of our beautiful mother,” said Megan Maguire Nicoletti, president and CEO of The Maguire Foundation. “She loved her time at GMercyU, and always took a genuine interest in helping future generations of students succeed.”

The new health care innovation campus will feature a 65,000-square-foot facility with immersive simulation and skills labs, where students can practice clinical skills and get experience with complex patient scenarios. The space also is intended to promote interdisciplinary collaboration between students in nursing, public health, social work, occupational therapy, respiratory care, psychology, radiation therapy and other professional tracks.

Gwynedd Mercy University has approximately 2,020 undergraduate students and more than 600 postgraduates, with degree programs in more than 40 fields.

The Maguire Foundation previously has supported the university with scholarship funds and resources for the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions and Frances M. Maguire Hall, the main academic building used by nursing, health professions and science students.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue honoring the life and legacy of Frances M. Maguire with a state-of-the-art Healthcare Innovation Center and Campus dedicated to expanding our ability to provide the unique and distinctive Mercy preparation for tomorrow’s nurses and other health care professionals in line with our overall vision to be the Catholic University leader in professional and health care education," said Deanne D’Emilio, president of Gwynedd Mercy University.

The 160-acre campus in Gwynedd Valley has seen a number of improvements in recent years, including the creation of a loop road and pedestrian walkways.

In 2020, the university debuted a virtual environment for radiation therapy training, giving students a simulation space to practice radiation therapy techniques with 3D views and life-size visualizations. The university also acquired a life-sized Anatomage Table, which enables interactive simulations of dissection of the human body and 150 other species.

Construction of the new health care center is expected to begin within the next 9-12 months.

“As we approach our 75th anniversary and prepare to launch a comprehensive campaign, we remain focused on adding more state-of-the-art facilities and technologies supporting innovative teaching and learning initiatives designed to enhance existing programs and support new market-responsive programs,” D’Emilio said. “We are also focused on providing additional scholarship support to make a GMercyU education even more accessible to our current and future students.”

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