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  • School of Health & Natural Sciences

    Love Science?

    Major in Biology, Health Sciences, Clinical Lab Science, or Exercise Science
  • School of Health & Natural Sciences

    Occupational Therapy

    Our weekend Occupational Therapy Program is designed for the adult learner.
  • Mobile Health Vehicle

    School of Health & Natural Sciences

    Local to Global Health Initiatives

    Interdisciplinary initiatives engage students and faculty in communities.
Dean Toglia Receives Award

Congratulations to School of Health and Natural Sciences Dean, Dr. Joan Toglia, who was recently named an Outstanding Educator of the Year for 2017 by Education Update.

Dr. Toglia is a paragon of academic administration, teaching, and research – inspiring the faculty and students in her school to all-around excellence. On the teaching side, her vision has enabled a scaling-up (in the School of Health and Natural Sciences) of Mercy’s Pulse-on-Learning initiative, which enables valuable mid-term formative assessment of instructors in the classroom – and she is currently planning a further initiative to strengthen adjunct teaching in SHNS. In addition, Dr. Toglia has shown tremendous leadership in shepherding the SHNS’s new and innovative Interprofessional Education (IPE) labs and clinical spaces, leading Mercy’s collaboration with ARC of Westchester to advance awareness of assistive technologies for those with cognitive differences, and promoting engagement of Mercy’s health professions programs with communities in the Bronx. Under Dr. Toglia’s leadership, the School of Health and Natural Sciences has committed to growing inquiry-based learning and research opportunities, and vigorously pursuing community-based and international learning and research, to foster academic strength, professional excellence, and intercultural competencies among their diverse students and faculty.

Medical Mission to Dominican Republic

Welcome home to our School of Health and Natural Sciences faculty and students from a successful medical mission to the Dominican Republic. The team visited 3 sites including an orphanage in Santo Domingo, community centers in Haina, and a rural health center in the villages of the sugar field workers. 18 students and 4 faculty from the Physician Assistant, Communication Disorders, and Physical Therapy Programs partnered with Inca Kola and Friends of Lead Free Children Lenny Caro, Chief Community Relations Office at the Bronx campus helped develop the partnerships and arrange the mission.

The team conducted screenings and provided services to over 1500 individuals during their short stay. They primarily saw children and women who have no health services. Haina is listed as the 3rd worst polluted place in the world due to high levels of toxic lead dust. The Mercy College health professional team screened children for some of the issues related to exposure to high levels of Lead in their environment such as learning disabilities, neurological issues, and behavior problems. Physical therapy students performed gross motor screenings, communication disorder students performed hearing and speech screenings, and physician assistant students paired with physicians from Aetna and Affinity healthcare to perform primary care health screenings.

Click below to read more about student experiences and to view more photos!


New Health Professions Clinical Simulation and Learning Labs

When it comes to training the best future health care professionals, who are prepared to handle anything they might face in their profession – Mercy College now has an invaluable tool – the new Health Professions Clinical Simulation and Learning Labs.  The 12,000 square-foot space consists of several specialized labs designed to simulate different disciplines within a health care facility. The Labs also include control rooms, debriefing space and several large classrooms.

The Health Professions Clinical Simulation and Learning Labs were made possible, in part, thanks to a $250,000 donation by the Friends of Nursing Fund. The Fund was established by an anonymous donor to help provide state-of-the-art equipment in the clinical simulation labs that mimics a hospital environment. The Labs are inter-professional and will be used by many programs in the School of Health and Natural Sciences.

The Labs are divided into four different lab areas, each focused on a specific area of health care and treatment.

  • Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab
  • Movement Lab
  • Health Assessment Lab
  • Home Health Lab

The Labs are filled with state-of-the-art technology that give students real-world experience before they even begin their clinical experiences. Several highly interactive mannequins are housed in the Clinical Skills and Simulation Lab, and students are able to treat them using real hospital equipment. The high-fidelity mannequins are the next best thing to actual, human patients. The mannequins are able to respond like a human would—including being able to breathe, cry, sweat and more. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, students can simulate administering medicine and treatment to the mannequins, which the mannequins would react to in real-time just like a real patient would. This allows students to gain experience, refine fundamental skills and increase patient safety.

Observation and control rooms adjoin the simulation areas so professors can coach students through simulations, provide feedback or even change the scenarios in real time so students can gain experience adjusting to new conditions. The ability to customize scenarios gives students the chance to experience and treat low-frequency medical events they may not be exposed to otherwise.

The second floor of the Health Professions Clinical Simulation and Learning Labs area is home to the Movement and Home Health Labs. These Labs will be used primarily by occupational therapy, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy, exercise science and nursing students. The Home Health Lab is an instructional space where students will learn and problem solve how to assist individuals with illnesses and medical conditions adapt to environmental barriers in the home, and navigate daily challenges that come with sudden life changes. In the accessible kitchen and bathroom space, students will learn how to teach functional mobility skills and simulate daily tasks such as cooking and home maintenance, as well as self-care Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing and dressing.

All the Labs will provide opportunities to bring together students from various health professions for interdisciplinary hands-on learning experiences in settings that reflect in-patient, clinic and home settings.  The students can work as a team while practicing patient assessment, critical thinking, communication and interventions based on specific patient scenarios.

Message from the Dean

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the School of Health and Natural Sciences at Mercy College. The outstanding programs in the School provide students the opportunity to explore basic and applied sciences and health care careers. The faculty of the School is student-focused and dedicated to providing high quality educational experiences that

About our School

The School of Health and Natural Sciences is dedicated to providing premier health and natural science undergraduate and graduate educational programs to equip students with the intellectual, technical and professional competencies they need to excel and advance as science specialists, health care providers, health promotion experts and science/health educators. More than just focusing on personal careers, our goal is to prepare students to use their knowledge and abilities in the health and natural sciences to be compassionate and caring health care providers.

School Goals

Students are expected to achieve entry-level proficiency and standards of excellence for their field, including:

  • Adequate knowledge of content
  • Essential competencies
  • Sound math skills & quantitative reasoning
  • Professional written & verbal communication skills
  • Integration of theory with practice
  • Application of innovate/cutting edge technology to practice

Students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior, by their ability to:

  • Ethically reason clinical or scientific issues
  • Communicate & interact with others using professional language and demeanor
  • Engage in self-assessment and reflection for personal and professional growth
  • Engage in culturally sensitive exchanges with clients and/or colleagues

Students are expected to demonstrate competency in applying methods of scientific inquiry and/or evidence-based learning to guide clinical/professional/scientific decision making.

Students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to engage in inter-professional and/or community service, including regional and/or global service, using knowledge and skills gained during their academic studies to foster diversity, interdisciplinary initiatives, and/or eliminate health disparities.


Dr. Davida Smyth
Chair, Department of Natural Sciences

Dr. Irina Ellison
Program Head, Health Sciences

Dr. Astrid Mel
Program Head, Exercise Science

Ms. Michelle Naylor
Director, Clinical Laboratory Science

Dr. Deborah Dougherty
Program Director, Occupational Therapy

Dr. Lisa Schenkel
Program Director, Veterinary Technology

Dr. Helen Buhler
Program Director, Communications Disorders

Ms. Lorraine Cashin
Program Director, Physician Assistant Program

Dr. Nannette Hyland
Program Director, Physical Therapy

Prof. Cristina Dumitrescu
Interim Program Director, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Dr. Miriam Ford
Co-Interim Program Director, Nursing

Dr. Susan Moscou
Co-Interim Program Director, Nursing

  • 300+

    Students have completed placements in prestigious institutions in the tri-state region.

  • 85%

    Of faculty are actively conducting research in their fields.

  • 100%

    Employment rate in all health professional programs within 3 months of graduation.

  • 15+

    Faculty and students have completed 15 medical outreach missions all over the world.

Clinical Laboratory Science; Mercy College

Clinical laboratory testing plays a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Clinical laboratory scientists, also referred to as medical technologists, and clinical laboratory technologists, are part of the health care team that collaborates with physicians in the treatment of patients.They examine and analyze body fluids, cells, and tissues.

The Clinical Laboratory Science Program has been granted, "Serious Applicant Status," by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS.)

The Clinical Laboratory Science program at Mercy College consists of three years of general education and basic science courses.  The fourth year of the CLS program consists of a combination of clinical courses on campus and full-day hospital based clinical rotations. 

Find out more about the Clinical Laboratory Science Program by clicking here!

TODAY’s Al Roker is back to work, not even two weeks after having knee replacement surgery. With a rigourous course of physical therapy, from Mercy College alumni, Billy Campbell, Al was able to get back on his feet sooner than expected. Since Roker's first knee replacement 15 years ago, medical science and the replacement surgery has improved radically. Dr. Campbell graduated from Mercy College in 2012 with a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy and continues to give back to the college by participating in the DPT program's Case Study courses.