History of Health Studies

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  • In 1986, Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing programs came to Brandon University with the announcement of funding for the two post-diploma programs. These programs where originally housed in the Faculty of Science in the new Department of Nursing and Health Studies located in McMaster Hall.  Students who were already Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses and upon successful completion of the two-year programs were provided with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.Sc.N.) and a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health (B.Sc.M.H.).  52 students were admitted during that first year.
  • In Fall 1987, the Department of Nursing and Health Studies moved into newly renovated space in the lower level of McMaster Hall. It included two classrooms, a laboratory and observation room, reception area, photocopy room, main office, four faculty offices, and a faculty lounge.
  • Spring 1988 was the first graduating class from these post-diploma programs.
  • In 1995, Canada’s first four year baccalaureate program in psychiatric Nursing (B.Sc.P.N.) joined the two post-diploma programs at Brandon University. Physically, this program remained at the Brandon Mental Health Centre until 1998 where the Psychiatric Nursing Diploma program had been housed since 1920.
  • In 1997, the three programs left the auspices of the Faculty of Science and the School of Health Studies was established. Linda Ross became the first Dean of the new School of Health Studies.
  • In September 1998, the Psychiatric Nursing program housed at BMHC, and the post-diploma programs, housed in McMaster Hall, moved into the renovated School of Health Studies Building on the Brandon University campus (formally the Music Building and Student Services). Having every one under one roof fostered collaboration and cooperation amongst the faculty and assisted both students and faculty in becoming more integrated into the university community.  The opening of the Health Studies Building was held on Friday, October 30, 1998, and was well attended by students, alumni, dignitaries and members of the university.
  • In 1998, the School began to offer the first two years of its BScPN program by distance to Winnipeg, in collaboration with the University of Winnipeg. Students could complete the psychiatric nursing courses through distance delivery and their required Arts and Science courses at the University of Winnipeg.  Office space was rented on the 7th floor of the Rice Financial building and classroom space was rented across the street at the University of Winnipeg.  Additional faculty was located in Winnipeg to accommodate teaching Years 3 and 4 of the B.Sc.P.N. program on-site.
  • In March 2001, the province announced $5 million to expand its nursing program facilities and bring the 4-year B.N. degree to Brandon University. On September 19, 2003 the new Health Studies Complex was officially opened just in time to welcome faculty, staff and years 1 and 2 of the new Bachelor of Nursing program.
  • In 2005, additional funding was received to expand the student capacity for the B.Sc.P.N. in Winnipeg. This included hiring additional faculty and staff and a need for permanent space.  Renovations began to take place early in 2006 to the lower level of the Rice Financial building.  The new space included two classrooms, student lounge, faculty and staff offices and lounge, a counseling room, a laboratory and computer area.  The official opening was on August 28, 2006 and classes began a week later.
  • May 2007, the new Bachelor of Nursing program graduated its first cohort of B.N. students from Brandon University.
  • On August, 1, 2008, Dr. Dean Care started his tenure as the second Dean of the School of Health Studies. Care came to Brandon University from the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba.
  • In Fall, 2008 an official opening was held for the newly renovated laboratory space in the lower level of the original building.
  • On June 9, 2009, the Senate of Brandon University approved that the First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling (FNAC) program be situated within the School of Health Studies. This program was first proposed by the Manitoba Aboriginal Educational Counseling Association and came to Brandon University in 1998.  The program was formulated using First Nations and Aboriginal holistic approaches to counseling, healing and community.  This move to the School of Health Studies was one of the recommendations put forward by an External Review Committee team that evaluated the FNAC program.  It also recommended a name change of the program and revised curriculum.  In September 2010 the new Indigenous Health and Human Services (IHHS) program accepted its first students.
  • In September 2009, the Health Studies Seminar Series was launched. This seminar series provides opportunities for faculty to share their research activities and develop a community of scholars in Health Studies.
  • In 2009, the Faculty applied for and received funding from the Manitoba Government to establish 12 seats for LPNs to access the B.N. and/or B.Sc.P.N. programs.
  • In 2010, Brandon University was approved to establish a Masters of Psychiatric Nursing (MPN) program – the first of its kind in Canada. In January 2011, the program admitted 13 students on a part-time and full-time basis.  The program has a total of eight full time seats available for students.  Delivery of the program is based on a combination of alternative delivery formats.  The MPN program is designed for professionals who are seeking advanced practice roles in administration, clinical practice, or education.
  • In July 2012, the School of Health Studies became the Faculty of Health Studies. To achieve the status of Faculty, a number of  criteria had to be met, including having “an independent School Council reporting directly to the Senate”, reaching a sizeable number of students and faculty, implementing graduate programs, carrying out noteworthy research, maintaining a worthy performance record, among others.  “This development is so important – for our students, the Faculty and the University.  It raises the profile of the entire program making the B.U. Health Studies experience more valuable to the students.  The achievement of this benchmark is a testament to the hard work Dr. Care and the faculty devoted to this initiative,” said Dr. Deborah Poff, Brandon University’s President and Vice-Chancellor.
  • In November 2012, Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College entered into an articulation agreement to allow LPN graduates from ACC to enter into the B.N. and B.Sc.P.N. programs at B.U. This articulation agreement was renewed in December 2017.
  • In 2013-14, Dr. Ardene Vollman served as a Stanley Knowles Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health Studies.
  • In the Spring of 2014 faculty engaged in a strategic planning initiative to map out a future direction for the Faculty of Health Studies. This resulted in the “Building for a Bright Future Strategic Academic Plan (2014-2019)” in Health Studies.
  • In 2015, the Office of Research was established and a Research Facilitator hired for that unit. That year also marked the establishment of the four Research Grant Awards ($2500 each).  These grants provide Health Studies faculty with seed money in support of developing larger research grant applications.
  • In May 2015, the Faculty had the first graduate from the Master of Psychiatric Nursing program at Brandon University.
  • In the Fall of 2015, the Hi-fidelity Simulation Centre was established at the Brandon Campus.
  • In September 2016, Health Studies Faculty Council approved the establishment of the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in the areas of Academic Teaching and Clinical Teaching. These awards are presented annually.
  • In 2018, new laboratory space and faculty offices were opened on the 6th floor of the Rice Centre in Winnipeg. This added approximately 3000 square feet to the Winnipeg Campus and resulted in a much approved learning environment for B.Sc.P.N. students.
  • In May 2019, the University Senate approved the establishment of the Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health.
  • On August 1, 2019, the Faculty welcomed the third Dean of Health Studies, Dr. John Moraros.