Mapúa University partners with Arizona State University (ASU) for School for Health Sciences. This was announced at the official launch event held June 6, 2023 at the Mapúa University Makati Campus. The event also served as an announcement of Mapúa University’s partnership with the Ayala-owned AC Health.
The School for Health Sciences is part of Mapúa’s commitment to providing a world-class education that helps graduates succeed in their fields and serve society. “Education is part of nation-building: we prepare the next generation to do better and bigger things and create impact,” said Dr. Reynaldo Vea, President of Mapúa University. “By venturing into Health Sciences, we hope to significantly contribute to the development of the Philippine health sector, both in clinical practice and research.”
Before joining the university, Dr. Malaya Santos, Mapúa’s Dean of the School of Health Sciences, dedicated much of her career to public health and research. “Health has a huge impact on quality of life and economic growth. Even from the perspective of personal impact on a family, the average Filipino is just one catastrophic disease away from poverty,” she said. “Our goal is to make healthcare more accessible and give our graduates the skills and mindset for a more global and digital healthcare industry.”
Immersive and advanced facilities for practice-ready graduates
Mapúa University has invested in state-of-the-art simulation tools and integrated training to develop practice-ready healthcare graduates.
Dr. Francisco Gutierrez, Head of Medicine & Health of Cintana Education, explains the simulation experiences further. “We have human structure and functional labs. The professor does an introduction, and then students go to different stations with different learning scenarios. For example, the first station may be an anatomical model, the next station is the first MRI or pet scan, the third will have curated videos from ASU that show brain dysfunction, and the fourth will have virtual reality goggles that show the brain in 3D. It is a very immersive experience, and immersion leads to deeper learning and retention.”
Mapúa will also have clinical simulation laboratories with hi-fidelity mannequins, robotics, virtual dissection tables, body projections, and “standardized patients” who are patient-actors.
As for clinical rotations and internships, Mapúa has partnered with Mandaluyong City Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Ospital ng Makati, and St. Clare Medical Center. The new partnership with AC Health will also allow Mapúa’s students to train in Healthway Medical Network – AC Health’s clinics and hospitals group consisting of 12 outpatient centers, 4 general hospitals, and the soon-to-open Healthway Cancer Care Hospital, the first of its kind in the country.
The integrated teaching simulation models will recreate authentic hospital, out-patient, and community scenarios and enable them to gain confidence and experience even before they meet their first patients. “It trains the graduates to be ready-to-practice and the first choice for employment while providing a delightful learning environment,” says Dr. Francisco.
Students from the different courses will share the multi-functional laboratories and simulation spaces, which encourages meaningful interaction and collaboration. “This will help build the mindset for more inter-professional and team-based health service delivery,” said Dr. Malaya.
AC Health Partnership
At the event, Mapúa University also announced its partnership with AC Health through its hospitals and clinics group, the Healthway Medical Network (HMN). Leveraging its integrated network of hospitals and clinics nationwide, HMN can enable Mapúa School of Health Sciences to provide enhanced experiential learning opportunities for its students through clinical rotations, internships, and other immersive strategies for active learning. The group will also provide scholarships and allow the students to explore career opportunities in the different Healthway QualiMed hospitals and Healthway Multispecialty Centers immediately after graduation.
“The pandemic exposed several gaps in our healthcare system, including the need to build a more resilient and sufficient health workforce. Addressing this requires strengthening the skills of future healthcare professionals through education. Today, I laud the collaboration between Mapúa School of Health Sciences and the Arizona State University, leaders in quality education, as they launch new Health Sciences programs to help narrow this gap. We at AC Health, through our Healthway Medical Network group, are proud partners and look forward to offering training initiatives and scholarship programs that can further equip the next generation of healthcare professionals. Together, we can rebuild our healthcare system and make our vision of improved healthcare for all a reality.” Paolo F. Borromeo, AC Health President and CEO, added.
Through the Global Classroom, students can participate in classes involving professors from Arizona State University and ASU-Cintana Alliance’s universities. They can also join internships and participate in international exchange programs and research projects.
Working with professors and classmates from around the world also provides them with the soft skills for a global workplace: communication, collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to lead and manage teams worldwide. “These will all be success factors in the 21st century,” said Dr. Malaya. “Our educational system has reached a point where technical skills are assured, so the global mindset is what gives that competitive edge.”
“Digital technology has permeated everything, and it is important for educators to teach digital literacy—how to be comfortable with the technology and how to curate and evaluate the accuracy of the information critically,” said Dr. Malaya. She adds that this is one of the strongest suits of Mapúa because of its long track record in Engineering and IT.
For the Health Sciences students in particular, digital literacy will also prepare them for specific situations like managing electronic patient records to communicate and connect with patients while providing telemedicine—or what Dr. Malaya described as developing “webside manners” – a virtual equivalent of bedside manner in healthcare in addition to the traditional bedside manners.
Preparation for a global career
“As we celebrate 100 years of Mapúa, we remain focused on ensuring that our students have the agency to pursue their careers wherever they want. This collaboration with ASU is a testament to our commitment to providing our students with a quality education at par with world standards,” said Dr. Vea.
The Mapúa Health Sciences degree programs include BS Biology, BS Psychology, BS Medical Technology, AB Psychology, and BS Nursing (waiting approval from CHED) in the Mapúa Makati campus. There are also plans to introduce nursing, medicine, and other health professions in the near future.