ETSU launches Academic Health Sciences Center identity
JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University’s Division of Health Sciences now has a new identity that better reflects the scope and complexity of educational opportunities available to students and the health care services the university contributes to the region.
The newly-named Academic Health Sciences Center at East Tennessee State University is officially recognized by the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC), making ETSU one of 110 such centers in the United States. With five colleges of study, ETSU offers a complex array of health professions education, from entry-level positions to professional and doctoral degrees.
The university received permission from the Tennessee Board of Regents to use the new identity when referring to its Division of Health Sciences, which includes the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the College of Nursing and the College of Public Health.
The new designation reflects no change in the ETSU health sciences mission, said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU’s vice president for Health Affairs and university chief operating officer.
“Our mission remains the same. Everything we do is geared toward improving the health of the people we serve, through student education, academic research and the provision of clinical care,” said Bishop, who serves on the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers. “The Academic Health Sciences Center at ETSU is a name that better reflects the comprehensiveness of our academic programming, as well as the high level of complex health care available throughout our region.”
Bishop said that high level of patient care is fueled not only by the Academic Health Sciences Center, but also by the partnerships the university enjoys with numerous health care providers around the region, especially Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System. Both systems have hospitals that offer hands-on educational opportunities for students as well as medical and pharmacy residency training programs.
Bishop said she and Dr. Jane Jones had another rationale for pursuing the new name: the interdisciplinary nature of health science education at ETSU. Jones, university chief of staff and associate vice president for Health Affairs, facilitated the application process.
“Interdisciplinary education is a distinct advantage students enjoy when they choose ETSU for education in the health sciences,” Bishop said. “That interdisciplinary or interprofessional component is even more important for those who plan to pursue a career in a rural setting, where working closely with health professionals from different disciplines is crucial to promoting better health.”
Membership in the AAHC is important for ETSU because both are driven by shared ideals, which include exemplary education, research and community service. Bishop pointed to the writings of Dr. Nancy W. Dickey, president of Texas A&M Health Science Center and former chair of the organization’s board, for context.
“Academic Health Centers play a unique and critical role in the country’s health care infrastructure,” Dickey wrote in the 2009 AAHC annual report. “We bring together in one institution research, education, health care and community service. We have the obligation to care for the uninsured and for those patients whose only hope is cutting-edge or even experimental treatments. We train the next generation of physicians and health care workers. And we generate the basic scientific breakthroughs that lead to new treatments and even new industries.”
The Academic Health Sciences Center at ETSU has a distinctive logo created by Robin Fisher, a graphic artist with the ETSU Department of Biomedical Communications.
Contact: Brad Lifford
NOTE TO MEDIA: To download the Academic Health Sciences Center at ETSU logo in color or black and white format, click on http://photolab.etsu.edu/images/AHSCLogos