Music Therapy student in session with participants

Ishler Wellness Lab

Welcome to the George Ishler Wellness Lab, part of the College of Health and Human Services at Western Michigan University. The Ishler Wellness Lab was established in 2018 with a mission to provide interprofessional practice for collaborative education with students at WMU. Students participate from departments such as Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Music Therapy; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy, Nursing and more. Students learning in the Ishler Wellness Lab receive hands on experience within their discipline while working with participants at WMU Senior Day Services and individuals in the community. Student clinicians are supervised by faculty members at WMU.

  • Mask and stay healthy

    We're temporarily closed to the public

    Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are not yet offering community activities and classes through the Ishler Wellness Lab. We continue to monitor current cases and will open when it is safe for all.

  • Students working with participants from Senior Day Services

    Interprofessional education

    Students and faculty from Physical Therapy and Speech Language Pathology will be visiting SDS participants in May for collaboration on community assessments.

Mission and Vision

  • Mission The mission of the Ishler Wellness Lab is to continue a partnership between WMU and the West Michigan community aimed at enhancing both the lives of older adults and the learning experiences of WMU students.

  • Vision The Ishler Wellness Lab will be a model for achieving optimal health and wellness for adults and will be the most trusted partner in our community.

About the Wellness Lab

WMU’s College of Health and Human Services received a major gift in 2018 to establish the George Ishler Wellness Lab. Gretchen Ishler made the gift in the name of her late husband, Dr. George Ishler.

In the community, the goal of the Ishler Wellness Lab is to help older adults remain actively engaged in daily activities and promote their independence with opportunities for professional treatment, social engagement and education. New services will be added to fully utilize the new space, according to Carol Sundberg, Ph.D., and director of WMU’s Center for Disability Services, Aging Services and the Unified Clinics. "The new service additions will promote health and wellness for people with conditions that affect mobility, strength, ambulation, speech/language, cognition, hearing, vision and sensory function,” says Sundberg.

About Dr. George Ishler

Dr. George Ishler received his medical degree from The University of Oklahoma School of Medicine in Oklahoma City, OK and was Board certified in both Anatomical and Clinical Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. Early in his career, Dr. Ishler served as the Chief of Pathology at Reynolds Army Hospital in Ft. Sill, OK and was a member of the Wound Data Research Team in Saigon and Da Nang, Vietnam completing his service at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded a Bronze Star. Dr. Ishler worked for the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Bath, NY as Chief of Laboratory Services, Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Education as well as Acting Director of the Steuben County Laboratory. In 1975, Dr. Ishler joined The Upjohn Company as an Infectious Disease Therapeutics Staff Physician. In 1980, he earned the W.E. Upjohn Award, and he retired as Corporate Vice President of Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs. He was a member of the American Medical Association and Michigan State Medical Society, and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and College of American Pathologists.

Dr. Ishler survived a stroke and was engaged in post stroke recovery programs provided by occupational therapy, as well as other rehabilitation disciplines. In honor of Dr. Ishler, the following rehabilitation-centered therapeutic lab is being proposed for adults living with various disabilities, resulting from disorders such as stroke, to experience transformative care.