On April 3, Shenandoah University and Inova jointly announced an expanded, collaborative partnership to educate the next generation of health care professionals and create new programs and certificates with an emphasis on population health, pharmacogenomics and other new health care technologies.
The Inova and Shenandoah collaboration was envisioned under immediate Shenandoah University past board chair Andy Ferarri and implemented under current board chair Marjorie Lewis.
“This partnership started in the 1990s, and this particular iteration of it was actually birthed in meetings between the Shenandoah board and the Inova board about three or four years ago, as they envisioned what we might be able to do as we look at the future needs of health care,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., during her remarks at the April event.
Described by CEO Inova Center for Personalized Health Todd Stottlemyer as “an exciting, academic partnership vital to educating the next generation of health care professionals,” it builds upon the individual strengths of Inova and Shenandoah and expands an existing partnership of 25 years. Inova has committed to make a $5 million investment to support the partnership’s educational programs.
The additional programs will increase the number of medical and health care professionals serving the Northern Virginia community and beyond. Planned programs include:
- Master of Science in Nursing – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
- Master of Science in Nursing – Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics & Precision Medicine
Postgraduate certificates in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) will be offered, as well as a certificate in Patient Care Navigation and online certificates in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Pharmacogenomics & Precision Medicine and Public Health. The new programs are focused on advanced training, with the certificates, specifically, designed to serve the needs of current, practicing health care professionals both at Inova and across the country.
“I think the most exciting thing for me in all of this, as we’ve gone through this entire development process, is that Shenandoah and Inova have worked together to identify societal needs and create programs and certificates to fill the gaps, so we’re training new practitioners with new sets of skills,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Adrienne Bloss, Ph.D.
“In addition, we’re bringing current practitioners back into the fold to update existing sets of skills with new ones, based on advances in research and technology,” she added.
I think the most exciting thing for me is that Shenandoah and Inova have worked together to identify societal needs and create programs and certificates to fill the gaps, so we're training new practitioners with new sets of skills. — Adrienne Bloss, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs
The new programs and certificates will be headquartered and facilitated at the Inova Center for Personalized Health (ICPH) in Fairfax, Virginia. As part of this new collaboration at ICPH, Shenandoah’s Northern Virginia Doctorate in Pharmacy program, which currently serves approximately 160 students, will relocate to the ICPH campus and begin classes there in August 2017.
The pharmacy program is part of Shenandoah’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, one of the first pharmacy schools in the country to incorporate an emphasis in pharmacogenomics into its curriculum. Shenandoah will also continue to operate a pharmacy doctoral program at its Winchester location, with opportunities for students and faculty at both campuses to collaborate through interprofessional education, research, and international travel and clinical experiences.
“As has been the case with each of our academic partners, we all share the commitment to lead the way in the integration of genomics into personalized medicine and individualized wellness,” said Stottlemyer.
“Shenandoah University will be the first university on the ICPH campus and joins a unique, internationally prominent hub for discovery, prevention, health and longevity that will connect researchers, clinicians and empowered consumers – all for the benefit of our community, our patients, our friends and our family members,” he added. “We really look forward to the opportunity to make many of these Shenandoah University students employees of Inova.”
The Shenandoah University presence at ICPH will consist of nearly 28,000 square feet of space, designed and built specifically for the university’s use and to include administrative, classroom and clinical space.
This partnership is a win for Inova and the Center for Personalized Health, it's a win for Shenandoah University, and certainly the students who are about to undertake their classwork and rotations here, but most importantly, it's a win for patients and our regional community. — Mark Stauder, Inova President and COO
Inova facilities have provided clinical learning opportunities for Shenandoah’s physical therapy and occupational therapy students since the early 1990s, clinical rotations for many Shenandoah nursing students since 2001, as well as clinical experiences for many Shenandoah pharmacy students since 2010. In 2008, the two organizations built upon these earlier collaborations and then again officially expanded their partnership in 2013.
“Inova strives to have the very best in research, the very best in community care, and that’s one of the reasons it’s a good partnership for Shenandoah,” said Dr. Fitzsimmons. “If you look at our physician assistant, physical therapy, athletic training and nurse practitioner programs, they all have 100 percent pass rates on their certification exams. Our pharmacy school is among the top 20 in the country in its certification exams. That’s what Inova’s looking for – excellence. And these programs are examples of great partners for Inova.”
Shenandoah is now recruiting for many of these programs and certificates and will enroll students within the year. Following approvals by the appropriate accrediting associations, most programs are expected to begin in August 2017, with the exception of the Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics & Precision Medicine and the postgraduate certificate in Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, which are expected to begin in August 2018.
“I should note – and this is really important – that many students in these programs will have opportunities to complete their clinical experiences and rotations at Inova facilities,” said Dr. Bloss.
“So this is the real-life classroom where our students really learn what the future of health care will look like,” she added. “This is where they get many of their critical skills. We are excited to embark on this new facet of our partnership with Inova, and we can’t wait to see where the future will take us.”
Shenandoah is delighted to join Inova in its mission to 'predict and prevent disease' and to 'keep healthy people healthy.' As Inova works to be the future of health, Shenandoah is the ideal partner. — Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., Shenandoah University President