Shenandoah University and Inova are collaborating to expand graduate-level medical education programs to Northern Virginia.
Beginning in the fall of 2014, the university will offer graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy and physicians assistants studies. The programs will be hosted at Shenandoah's Northern Virginia facilities, located near the Loudoun Inova Hospital in Leesburg. Shenandoah currently offers programs in nursing and respiratory care, pharmacy, teacher education and organizational leadership in Northern Virginia.
Inova will provide $3.2 million in seed money to help start the program. Additionally, Inova will help provide clinical and rotational experience for enrolled students. Both Inova and Shenandoah hope their relationship will cultivate a career pipeline to enable students to transition directly from graduate programs at Shenandoah to jobs in the medical field.
“This is a win-win for both organizations, for future students, for graduating professionals and for the communities and patients that we serve,” said Knox Singleton, CEO of Inova, in a prepared statement. “Shenandoah is a highly regarded university, especially in the area of health care education. Given Inova’s commitment to improve the health of our community through excellence in education and research, we’re excited about this collaboration’s impact on the ongoing development of health care professionals now and in the future.”
The program is currently pending accreditation, but anticipates enrolling a limited number of students in 2014. Shenandoah expects to increase enrollment by fall of 2015 enough to absorb total costs of the program.
The Winchester-based Shenandoah University began it's health professional programs 50 years ago. The school relied heavily on Valley Health Care for the co-development of the program and maintains a relationship with the group today.
“The opportunity to expand our OT, PA and PT programs in Loudoun County in partnership with Inova is only possible because of our long-term partnership in Winchester with Valley Health," Shenandoah president Tracy Fitzsimmons said.