New building, new possibilities

by Sandy Willett, director, MMI Department of Physical Therapy | November 13, 2018

Image with caption: An artist's rendering of the new location.

An artist's rendering of the new location.

When the University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved a new location for the Munroe-Meyer Institute this June -- near the University of Omaha's Scott Campus -- it was exciting for many reasons. But as MMI directors work together to redesign the existing structure building, another reason for excitement has emerged -- the way the departments have unified to create a vision of the new space that reinforces collaboration, both across departments and the wider community.

We have visited and revisited the spaces in the new building as a team -- with a focus on how to enrich our mission for the families and clients we serve. The emphasis has not been on which department gets how much space or windows or amenities, but on creating spaces that are inviting and family-friendly; on reinforcing our pledge to uphold the "f-words: fun, function, family, friends, fitness and future!" Of course, departments instinctively tend to vie for prime real estate, but cross-departmental efforts to ensure that individual departmental needs serve a larger vision, including thinking more broadly about multiple-use spaces, is apparent. The excitement for shared, collaborative, innovative, and interdisciplinary space is tangible!

Although services will not begin in the new location until 2020, we at MMI are excited about the possibilities at the new location. As MMI Director Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., has said, collaborative spaces build collaborative teams and this effort will drive MMI to the next level in caring for individuals with developmental disabilities. And, it lays the foundation for the next generation of providers by creating a rich environment for training and research.

It's an exciting time! The possibilities are becoming a reality!