RIT to launch Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition

By NATE DOUGHERTY - 3/5/2014 4:06:48 PM

Rochester Institute of Technology has announced plans to launch a new school of health and nutrition with a $6 million gift from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation.

The Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition, part of RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology, will be tasked with educating students on the role of nutrition, exercise and behavior modification in promoting healthy lifestyles, RIT officials said Wednesday.

“We are greatly appreciative for the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation’s gift, and their support for RIT’s vision for this school,” said William Destler, RIT president. “Through its educational and research programs, the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition will have tremendous potential for changing the current health climate throughout the entire country.”

RIT officials said the school will address the nationwide health crisis brought on by inactivity and poor eating choices. Officials note that despite people living longer, they are often in chronic poor health with high nationwide rates of obesity, diabetes, damaging cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

“The Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition will focus and extend the college’s strengths and potential,” said Daniel Ornt, RIT dean of the College of Health Sciences and Technology and vice president of the Institute of Health Sciences and Technology. “The research findings our students and faculty produce stand to a have real impact in addressing a national health issue, while giving our students a professional edge.”

The Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition will add new degree programs and will research and address critical health issues, RIT officials noted. It will come with a structure that is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, with a focus on pursuing new knowledge through highly applied research initiatives, officials said.

The program follows in the spirit of the Wegmans Family Charitable Foundation, which has a history of supporting community programs in areas of health and wellness.

“RIT has a track record of thought leadership in our community, along with a proven ability to apply scientific concepts in a practical way,” said Danny Wegman, the foundation’s president and chairman. “We are confident the new school will similarly help further the field of health and nutrition through practical solutions to health challenges.”

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