11 February 2017

2016 MICHIGAN Kalamazoo - A Culinary School

Another place the LLA ladies visited is the newish Kalamazoo Valley Community College / Bronson Healthy Living Campus. It is made up of three parts. One is the Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Building (including a pharmacy). Garden-based therapy and holistic patient care are included in their program. They also partner with nearby Bronson Hospital.

The other two areas are the Food Innovation Center and the Culinary and Allied Health Building. Mike and I visited all three parts of the campus during the March 22, 2016 grand opening open house.

At that time we were particular interested in the culinary side. Our friend and two-time Italy trip tour guide is John Korycki. Chef John was previously top chef at Zazios restaurant in the Kalamazoo Radisson and is now Director of Culinary Education here at this fabulous downtown campus.
The LLA ladies visited two parts of the campus. We met at the Food Innovation Center. This consists of a brand new building set up to explore new, sustainable, and flexible trends in growing methods (wall garden, stacked garden, hydroponics, etc.). The facility includes a greenhouse for year-round growing, outdoor garden plots, and large planters.

There is also a food processing hall (wash and food prep area), a quality assurance testing lab, and classrooms. A goal here is to provide a hub to collect fresh foods from local farms. They may be lightly processed (washed, peeled, chopped, perhaps freezing) and then distributed to area hospitals, schools, and other institutions.
Because of cheaper costs through bulk factory processing, many institutions purchase over-salted foods filled with preservatives and artificial substances. The emphasis here is on sustainable food growing systems and FRESH (not factory processed) foods.

Today we saw some unexpected challenges in the greenhouse. It was filled with wonderfully smelling basil plants, lettuce, and tomatoes, but ..... it had been invaded by a destructive moth. This gave students the "opportunity" to devise an eco-plan to eradicate the pests in a way so not to contaminate the food plants.

The other facility we visited this day was the Culinary and Allied Health Building. This is another brand new 3-story structure.

The top level houses the Nursing and Allied Health program. Among the programs taught here are dental hygienist, respiratory practitioner, medical assistants technology, and emergency response.

There are classrooms and labs. One lab includes an actual emergency ambulance that was lifted up to and installed on the third floor. It houses the original set of medical equipment, adapted to simulate medical emergencies. Operators can even make the vehicle bounce as if going down a bumpy road.

There is a mock bathroom as well. As many accidents happen in bathrooms and it is a confined space to work in, students have the opportunity to experience a rescue in life-like exercises.

The nursing side has rooms that act as surgeries, emergency rooms, labor rooms, hospital wards, etc. In both areas specialized mannequins simulate respiratory or heart problems, child patients, pregnancy, accident victims, and other medical situations.

These rooms are so well-equipped that in case of a widespread real-life emergency (say a plane crash) in the Kalamazoo area, they could actually be used as overflow from nearby Bronson Hospital.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.