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Kishwaukee College shows off new health facility

MALTA – Mary Ann Sullivan Pluta never realized how good it feels to get a massage, even though she gives massages to others often.

Sullivan Pluta, a massage therapy student at Kishwaukee College, received one during a massage demonstration Tuesday that was part of an open house showing off the college’s new health wing.

“To be in a state-of-the-art training facility is a very effective way to spoil students,” she joked as her feet were being massaged.

The Terry and Sherrie Martin Health Careers Wing at Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Road, Malta, was formally unveiled Tuesday during an open house that included self-given tours of the facility and remarks by officials.

Perhaps the health facility’s biggest attraction was its high-fidelity patient simulators that can talk, sweat, bleed and breathe. A program can even set health conditions that the simulators can have.

Carol Quenett, former dean of career technology at Kishwaukee
College, was looking over an infant patient simulator. There also are child and adult simulators. The college also is expecting to receive a pregnant simulator.

“When they say you can feel the pulse, you can really feel the pulse,” Quenett said.

The 25,850-square-foot wing was paid in part with a $52.6 million bond issue voters approved in a referendum November 2010. The health wing includes three nursing labs, one nursing practice lab, two massage therapy labs, an x-ray room, five classrooms and a new complementary health clinic.

The wing is named after former Kishwaukee College biology instructor Terry Martin and his wife, Sherrie.

When he gave his remarks, Terry Martin carried his 3-year-old granddaughter, Wren Martin, in his arms while Sherrie Martin stood alongside with Wren’s twin brother, Archie Martin.

Archie was born weighing 5 pounds, and Wren weighed only 3 pounds at birth.

“There were some scary moments,” Terry Martin said.

The health facility will help students care for others like his grandchildren, he said.

The Terry and Sherrie Martin Health Careers Wing is the last major project the college will use with the referendum money, said Bob Johnson, chair of the Kishwaukee College board of trustees.

Representatives from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations will visit Kishwaukee College on Thursday for final approval of the wing’s aesthetics clinic in which students are taught about skincare, said Bette Chilton, Kishwaukee College dean of health and education.

Rene Olsen, who works at Kishwaukee Hospital’s emergency management services department, said paramedic students who are taught at the hospital will be able to use the wing this fall.

“There’s so many things they never get to see here,” Olsen said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for the students.”

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