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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.
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.

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.

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 at Mercy College consists of three years of general education and basic science courses, followed by a one-year professional internship at a hospital clinical laboratory. The college-based courses meet the requirements for admission into an affiliated hospital School of Medical (Clinical) Laboratory Science and provide students with the conceptual and technical background needed to complete their clinical education.

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

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

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. Peggy Tallier
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.

Mercy College’s Communication Disorders Department has been traveling around the world providing speech therapy for children who otherwise might not receive those service, many of the children have cleft lips and palates, other craniofacial anomalies and assorted developmental disabilities. 


Communication Disorders Professors Dr. Helen Buhler and Dr. Shari Berkowitz traveled to Santa Marta, Colombia with graduate students Bruna Carbelim and Jeanette Torres. The speech team traveled with Healing the Children, Northeast, a group that provides surgery to children with orofacial clefts around the world. Previously the professors have provided services around the globe in Thailand, Peru and India. In fact, their next trip will be to a new area in India in January 2017 and two graduate students will be accompanying them. Take a look at Bruna's YouTube video about the Medical Mission, Santa Marta, Columbia here

Our alums are also getting into the action abroad, Communication Disorders alumna Lindsay Naylor recently traveled to Lima, Peru to provide speech therapy. While there, Naylor mentored and supervised current Communication Disorders graduate student Shannon Hall. The trip was under the auspices of Healing the Children, Rocky Mountain chapter.

To read more about the work the Communication Disorders Department is doing in the field, Berkowitz keeps a blog about the departments worldwide adventures which features guest posts from students. The blog can be accessed here.