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Old Dominion plans to expand health sciences programs in Virginia Beach

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Old Dominion University plans to significantly expand its health sciences programs at the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center this fall.

The expansion was announced Wednesday in a State of the City address by Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.

The university said the move will complement its health-sciences presence in Norfolk, introducing graduate programs in high-demand fields, such as telehealth, in Virginia Beach while enlarging other programs in the schools of Nursing and Community & Environmental Health in ODU’s College of Health Sciences.

The expansion is expected to bring 850 additional students and 62 faculty members to the Virginia Beach site.

Old Dominion also expects to open a primary-care clinic, a substance-abuse prevention center and a training center for patient simulation in Virginia Beach.

In addition to its expansion in Virginia Beach, ODU plans to construct a new $75 million health sciences building on its main campus in Norfolk in the next several years to expand its health sciences offerings.

“Mayor Sessoms and the City of Virginia Beach have been steadfast supporters of Old Dominion’s expansion in the VABeachBio corridor, and we are eager to advance our mutual mission to serve our community’s needs today while providing world-class academic and research opportunities for the health-care practitioners of tomorrow,” Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick said in statement. “I am confident this initiative will position ODU and Hampton Roads for national prominence in health-care innovation, research, telehealth and simulation technology.

Old Dominion has had a Virginia Beach presence for 30 years. Its higher education center is adjacent to Tidewater Community College.  The
VABeachBio innovation corridor also houses biomedical companies, research organizations, higher education institutions and health-care providers such as LifeNet Health’s world headquarters, Sentara Healthcare, Operation Smile and the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.

Starting in this fall, the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center will offer upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in nursing and telehealth training, providing students new classroom and hands-on opportunities in these fields. That will place an additional 350 students and 45 faculty members at the center, bringing the total to more than 1,200.

When a proposed School of Public Health is launched, the center’s population will grow by an additional 500 students and 17 faculty members.

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