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Organizational structure to support vision

by Megan Fink
Public Relations
After nearly 12 months of review from external and internal teams, the College of Health Professions (CHP) altered its organizational structure to better support its vision of national distinction in education, research and service. The new strategy, which became effective July 1, restructured the three departments of CHP into two new departments; Department of Health Professions and Department of Health Sciences and Research.
The Department of Health Professions’ goal is to advance national distinction through the long-term stability and growth in its core set of degree programs. There will be seven divisions, including anesthesia for nurses, cardiovascular perfusion, communication and sciences disorders, health administration and policy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, and physical therapy. The Department of Health Sciences and Research will advance programs and centers, such as a Master of Research Administration and an anticipated doctorate in health and rehabilitation science; as well as centers for rehabilitation sciences, health economics and policies studies.
“The faculty and staff have done an incredible job working toward the transformation in multiple steps this past year,” said Mark Sothmann, Ph.D., CHP dean and professor. “This goes very deep into the college with realignment of faculty appointments, the building of staff teams to support the new departments, and the revision of college documents. These transformations will better allow us to strategically plan where our resources should be best focused”
The new structure adds a research pillar to the established academic programs and strong inter-professional education in the college. In an intensive research institution such as MUSC, CHP is positioning itself on the national level to better compete for coveted research funding in key areas. Research plays a vital role in the strategic design, because it has a positive effect on the overall quality of the health professions educational programs, Sothman explained.
In addition to health professions core curricula, the new high-tech CHP building and renovated research building (the old CHP building) further advance scholarship and elevate the program’s level of excellence. CHP’s research facility will house newly developed laboratories such as a Motion Analysis Lab, a Neurophysiology Assessment lab, and an Integrated Physiology Lab. These labs and research centers in the CHP Research Building will support the Ph.D. program that is currently being reviewed by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and, if approved, is expected to begin in fall 2009. According to an external team review of the college this year, “The facilities of College of Health Professions are quite probably the best among the top schools of health professions in the United States.”
It’s been a long road of planning and construction that culminated in the organizational structure change. Key staff, faculty and leaders were integral aspects in developing sound fiscal decisions for the college. “We looked at staff infrastructure to create a system to promote best practices,” said Becky Trickey, Ph.D. “Teams were created in key areas, and we’re now developing goals within those teams.”

Friday, Sept. 26, 2008
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