RIT Announces New Wegmans Health School

Published 03/05 2014 10:31AM

Updated 03/05 2014 05:21PM

Wegmans is bringing a new school to the Rochester Institute of Technology. 

The new Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition will focus on giving students the tools they need to tackle major health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Students in Bill Brewer's cardiac rehab class are learning about the science of how the heart works.

"Rehabbing and physiology of the heart; different rhythms and medications that you take to treat those rhythms," Steven Terry said.

Students learned something that is not in any textbook Wednesday. RIT's Exercise Science program is expanding thanks to a $6 million gift from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation.

"I'm definitely excited about that. This is actually the first I've actually heard of the new health sciences major and I'm really excited to see what's going to come of it," Terry said.

RIT offers Exercise Science as a minor, but soon a Bachelor's degree program will be launched.

"The interest in the growth and the future of Exercise Science led to the recognition that we could probably have a full curriculum and a full program on Exercise Science," Brewer said.

Brewer says graduates will help tackle national health issues like diabetes and obesity with exercise-based solutions. 

"I think its role is that it goes from being a good idea to a medically-indicated intervention into the high-risk factors that we are currently trying to treat," he said.

The Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition is being launched immediately. About $2 million of Wegmans' gift will be used to pay for equipment and faculty for the new school. The other $4 million will go into an endowment to support the school over the years. 

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