EL SALVADOR: Don Bosco University praised for development of LEED Lab for Prosthetics and Orthotics Technical Program with funding secured by Salesian Missions from USAID-ASHA
The “Walking Anew!” project is expanding and upgrading the facilities at Don Bosco University’s School of Rehabilitation Science.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 6, 2020) Don Bosco University in San Salvador, El Salvador, is empowering the next generation of medical rehabilitation practitioners to transform the lives of people with mobile disabilities through its “Walking Anew!” project. This project was made possible thanks to a grant from USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program secured by Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
The “Walking Anew!” project, which runs from March 2017 to March 2021, is expanding and upgrading the facilities at Don Bosco University’s School of Rehabilitation Science as well as the equipment used to train medical rehabilitation professionals. The project will also pioneer innovative techniques in the treatment of people with disabilities.
To date, the “Walking Anew!” project’s construction phase for the facility at Don Bosco University is in process. Included in this phase is the development of a two-story building that will hold new and expanded laboratories, practice centers and classrooms on the first floor, and a new Applied Research Center for collaboration with the U.S. on the second floor. The new building will implement photovoltaic electricity to promote conscientious energy use and reduce carbon emissions at the global level. It will be constructed under LEED parameters of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The project will also entail upgrading 50 percent of the current technology used and acquiring new and modern equipment for the four SRS laboratories that teach and apply rehabilitation techniques for people with disabilities. The laboratories to be updated include an existing mobility laboratory, an existing orthotics and prosthetics laboratory, a new podiatry laboratory and a new specialized practice laboratory.
Recently, Anne Dix, Ph.D., director of ASHA, visited Don Bosco University and was impressed with the leadership shown at the school. The Prosthetics and Orthotics Technical Program has been the only accredited program in Latin America since the civil war in El Salvador. The program has already trained people from El Salvador, Central and South America, Haiti, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Dix was most impressed with the work showcasing the new LEED Lab construction. She said in a recent USAID/ASHA newsletter, “The A&E firm currently supervising construction efforts are certain that through the smart design of the new building, they will be placed to receive a Gold Level Certification. While most of their work is focused on energy conservation to achieve the highest level of energy efficiency possible to manage temperature gradients, air flow and lighting; the project also does an impressive job of conserving the existing tree cover in the vicinity and incorporating a green roof and maximizing the use of water. A green roof and an unusual set of ramps have been incorporated into the staircase to achieve American with Disabilities (ADA) compliance, while also helping the building seamlessly blend the existing landscape. I hope that Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification will eventually become the norm rather than the exception.”
The “Walking Anew!” project will also establish an Applied Research Center for innovation within the parameters of educational and medical practice. The Applied Research Center will stimulate and enable the exchange of knowledge and experience with scholarly and medical centers in the U.S. It will also include an information center dedicated to researching health issues specifically related to the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, orthotics and prosthetics, material science, physical medicine, and medical innovations across Central and South America. Subscriptions to databases and digital libraries related to rehabilitation will be available for the use of professors, students, researchers and health personnel. Center users will also have access to medical magazines edited in the U.S.
Don Bosco University is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country, particularly in the technical and technological sector. The university has close to 6,000 students enrolled and maintains a strong link to the local employment sector through research, technology transfer programs, continuing education courses and consultancy services. Degree programs are offered in engineering, social sciences, humanities, economics, technology and aeronautics, among others.
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