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Austin, Hazel and Lawrence: A strategic approach to health sciences education and career development in Virginia

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An examination of the current health sciences curriculum in the Roanoke and New River Valleys revealed that our respective school systems are teaching in silos. If a health sciences student transfers from one school system to another, he or she would likely have to start from square one, regardless of knowledge and experience already acquired. That determination was the genesis of a regional initiative to standardize and raise the rigor of health sciences education to support the talent needs of our growing health sciences ecosystem.

Far too often, we hear of graduates who are not properly qualified for current and future job opportunities. The health care industry alone faces a current shortage of qualified workers, and it is estimated that in the next decade, more than 122,000 health care related jobs will be needed in the commonwealth.