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Dr. Mindy Rice, far left, explains some of the improvements to the nursing building thanks to a donation from Lois Mol. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV News.

By Jeff Steers
JTV News

(April 29, 2021 4:19 PM) Hal was experiencing seizures in a bed at Spring Arbor University on Thursday. 

Monitors near the patient’s hospital bed were showing some sort of condition occurring … and it was changing rapidly.

Two nursing students were using the monitor to determine the reason for the seizures and the changing conditions.

On the other side of the glass, a nursing instructor was changing conditions for “Hal” – the manikin – causing the nursing students to react.

Some of the equipment was purchased through a sizeable donation from Lois Mol.

Administrators from Spring Arbor University unveiled the Jacob and Lois Mol Nursing Simulation Center across the street from the main campus entrance on Thursday.

It is the new addition to the school of Nursing at SAU. 

The Jacob and Lois Mol Nursing Simulation Labs add six hospital beds, three simulation beds, an ICU/isolation room and multiple simulation manikins.

Lois Mol became interested in SAU when two of her granddaughters attended the college, according to Mol’s daughter Carol Balcer of Hudsonville, Mich.

“My parents have always been generous to the health care community,” Balcer said. 

Lois Mol and her late husband Jacob were originally from New Jersey, but she calls Michigan her home now.

Having an opportunity to “practice on simulators” is a blessing according to Dr. Al Kauffman, dean of the school of nursing and health sciences at SAU. Kauffman administers the program with Dr. Mindy Rice.

“The intent is to prepare students for the environments they are going into,” Kauffman said. “It is important it mimics those environments. 

“When I went to school, there were not manikins. You go into the hospitals and ‘practiced’ on real people.” 

Kauffman said there are other benefits from the new state-of-the-art equipment. 

“The part we can’t see today is medical students come here for residencies,” Kauffman said. “The come in for long weekends, using the equipment.”

The university has programs for persons completing a four-year degree in nursing since 2001. The four-year bachelor program is in its fifth year, graduating the first class last year.

Students apply for the program their freshman year and spend the next three years in the Bachelor of Arts program. Kauffman said there is more room for the 30 seats in each class – up to a total of 90 students.  

The first class achieved an 89 percent first-time pass rate on his/her nursing board exams. 

A new class of 16 graduates are expected to graduate in two weeks. Soon-to-be graduate Anna Cole spoke at the dedication ceremony. She already has a nursing position secured at the Cleveland Clinic in the cardiac clinic. 

Spring Arbor University President Dr. Brent Ellis stands with Lois Mol following the dedication of the Jacob and Lois Mol Nursing Simulation Labs in the nursing building at the university. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV News.

Two Spring Arbor University nursing students work on “Hal” during a class on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV News.

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