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College of Health and Human Services
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WED Center

ASU Officially Opens WED Center

Angelo State University has officially opened its new Center for Community Wellness, Engagement and Development (WED Center) in southwest San Angelo.

Currently housed at the center are the Family, Adolescent and Child Engagement Services (FACES), which includes the administrative arm of the ASU nursing program’s San Jacinto School Based Clinic and Family Wellness Center; the ASU Caregiver Research Institute; and the Psychology, Sociology and Social Work Department’s Community Development Initiatives. It is also the future home of a Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health regional office.

Dr. Leslie Mayrand, dean of the ASU College of Health and Human Services, is the coordinator for the center, which has the mission “To promote the highest quality of life in communities served by ASU students, faculty and staff.”

“One of our master goals is to increase community engagement,” Mayrand said. “That has become a very big priority for universities and university life, and the Texas Tech University System has that as one of its major goals as well.” 

“We have taken all the initiatives that we have had faculty interest in, and located them all here,” she added. “We will also be getting our students involved with service learning and with engagement in the community. We hope to eventually have students and faculty from all of our academic disciplines wanting to participate.”
 
Along with traditional community service, the WED center will sponsor service learning activities that incorporate curriculum objectives, student planning, critical thinking and reflection into continuing projects that benefit the community.

“We are not here to duplicate services by other community agencies, but rather enhance them when we can,” Mayrand said. “Also, if we identify a need in the community, we can help to bring all the agencies together to figure out the best way to address that need.”

“Being at ASU, we are kind of in a neutral space because we are here for the entire community,” she added. “It is very nice to be able to do that. It will also help us when we partner with other groups that want to bring in educational programs that will benefit our students and our community. We can partner with them and lend our expertise as well.”

The WED center is an umbrella for several faculty-led multidisciplinary initiatives, including school-based services for children, adolescents and families, caregiver research, community development and women’s health and wellness. ASU alumna Crista Wilson is the office manager.

The San Jacinto facility offers cost-effective and culturally sensitive health care as well as behavioral and wellness services to children from birth to 18 years old and their families, regardless of ability to pay. The administrative arm is run by Corine Martinez, assistant clinical professor of nursing.

The Caregiver Research Institute will serve older adults, frail elders, caregivers, nursing home patients and health care professionals. Services will include individualized care planning as well as exercise and therapy classes, and it will also serve as a resource and information center. Faculty facilitators are Dr. Katie Artnak, associate professor of nursing, Mona Dawson, assistant clinical professor of nursing, and Dr. David Sanders, assistant professor of sociology and applied gerontologist.

Community Development Initiatives fosters ASU student involvement in the community and provides various services, including demographic research, needs assessments, grant writing assistance and maintaining databases that can be utilized by non-profit groups. Dr. Ken Stewart, professor of sociology, and Dr. Casey Jones, professor of political science, head up the program.

The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health will be dedicated to the cultivation and advancement of multidisciplinary science in women’s health, and to promoting the well-being of women through research, education and community outreach. Dr. Linda Ross, assistant clinical professor of nursing, will serve as the director.

“The center shows the involved and practical face of ASU to a lot of segments of the community,” said Phil Neighbors, president of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. “All of these individual missions are important, but what it does for the average citizen is show that ASU faculty, staff and students care about the community. They want to bring their expertise and their services into the community, and ASU is following through on that.”

The Chamber’s Concho Cadre helped officially open the WED Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The center is located at 5301 Knickerbocker Road, just inside the main entrance to Bentwood Country Club Estates.

For more information, contact the WED Center at 325-942-2754 or wed@angelo.edu.