The university purchased the Health Professions Building on the Winchester Medical Center (WMC) Campus in September. The facility, which the university previously leased from WMC parent Valley Health, houses the pharmacy, physician assistant studies, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs in Winchester (these programs are also offered in Northern Virginia locations). The purchase allows the university to make any needed changes to the facility, which Shenandoah has occupied since the facility opened in 1996.
Students from Shenandoah University’s School of Health Professions and School of Pharmacy attended the Primary Care Progress (PCP) Leadership Summit in August 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. PCP is a national organization committed to building a stronger primary care system through strengthening the community at the heart of care. Shenandoah had one of only 50 teams nationwide invited to participate. Joining a list of other distinguished health professional and medical schools in the U.S., Shenandoah stands out in the organization as a uniquely interprofessional group. Colleen Grassley ’17 (Physician Assistant Studies), Spencer Blohowiak ’17 (Pharmacy) and Elizabeth Agre ’18 (Physical Therapy) attended the summit as assistant facilitators and Tony Moulder ’19 (Physical Therapy) attended as a first-time participant. At the summit, the attendees received interactive training to develop leadership competencies applicable to team building and change management. The summit brought together student and professional leaders from across the country to understand and address the challenges of today’s shifting and evolving healthcare system.
In addition, student leaders from PCP started a project with the Lord Fairfax Health District to build their Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce in Winchester. The CHW project is an example of aligning student outreach activities with community needs. As the health department faced challenges in fulfilling the role of CHWs as part of a grant project, they collaborated with Shenandoah’s School of Health Professions to investigate adapting the traditional CHW model in order to meet their evolving needs. Eight students from the Division of Physician Assistant Studies (PA) and Physical Therapy (PT) completed the training for the CHW program and four students (two PA and two PT) participated in their first event with the Hope Again Care center in downtown Winchester. Students began with doing basic health screenings and providing information about community resources. They will use this as a stepping stone to engage community members, as well as help the health department identify other CHWs from the community. This is a new innovative model with student-CHWs. The students, the health department’s Disease Prevention Grant Coordinator Ann Judge, RN, P.H.N., and PCP faculty advisor Associate Director and Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies Leocadia Conlon, PA-C, M.P.H., will continue to evaluate the model and alignment with community needs. They hope to grow this program over time.
The Shenandoah University Division of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2018 recently donated money raised during their annual gala and silent auction event to two local organizations – the Sinclair Health Clinic and The Laurel Center. A $4,000 check was presented to each of these organizations during an event held at the Health Professions Building in September.
The Loudoun County Adult Day Center approved most of a proposal to redesign a courtyard, created by students in the Occupational Therapy program’s community applications class. The students involved were class of 2018 members Taylor Burke, Christy DeNova, Grace Fahham, Jennie Pogorzala, Corey Raper, Whitney Smith and Hannah Stanley. The community application class integrates content and skills through on-site sessions in community agencies/organizations that serve individuals with special needs. Students and faculty evaluate systems and community-based programs that meet the diverse needs of these individuals. The course integrates content presented throughout the semester, from systems and management to neuroscience-anatomy-occupation, and health and occupation. The systems analysis and the projects developed for the agencies are considered semester capstone projects. The primary thread of the semester has been the Scholarship of Practice; however, the Scholarship of Discovery and Service also played important roles. This group made a proposal to redesign the courtyard for more functional use. They redesigned a walking path, sitting area with pergola, gardening and recreational areas.