Shenandoah University and Inova partner to extend medical graduate programs

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Shenandoah University and Inova will collaborate to bring more medical education programs to Northern Virginia. The partnership, announced Thursday, will offer graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies at the university’s Northern Virginia Campus, near Inova Loudoun Hospital in Loudoun County. The idea behind the effort is to strengthen the regional workforce.

The university, which currently offers some medical programs, will renovate additional space on its Northern Virginia Campus to house the new programs.
Inova and Shenandoah University have collaborated in the past on nursing and respiratory care programs at the Northern Virginia Campus. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Inova, and look forward to a collaboration that will prepare our students with the outstanding resources and clinical experiences they need to serve as health care providers in the Northern Virginia region,” Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons said in a statement.

Inova will provide $3.2 million in seed money to start the programs, building a six-table cadaver lab and leasing space for up to two years. It also will provide clinical and rotational experiences for students enrolled in the programs. Through the partnership, the two organizations said they would seek to create a pipeline for allied health students at Shenandoah’s Northern Virginia Campus directly into employment – including jobs within Inova’s integrated network of hospitals and outpatient care facilities.

“This is a win-win for both organizations, for future students, for graduating professionals and for the communities and patients that we serve,” CEO of Inova Knox Singleton said in a statement.

The curriculum, subject to approval by the appropriate accreditation associations, is scheduled to begin with a limited number of occupational therapy and physical therapy students in fall of 2014. As enrollment grows, it is anticipated that by August 2015 Shenandoah will absorb the full cost of the programs.

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