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Every day College of Health Professions students, alumni, faculty and staff do extraordinary things. Read more about our latest achievements below.

Northam, on tour of College of Health Professions

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday, along with leaders at Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health, stressed the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and of training frontline health care workers in remarks made to reporters during a visit to VCU’s College of Health Professions.

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Northam, M.D., received an in-depth tour of the college’s eight-story facility that included stops in the departments of Health Administration, Occupational TherapyNurse AnesthesiaRadiation Sciences and Medical Laboratory Sciences. He also observed some of the research taking place in Physical Therapy while meeting students, faculty and staff. Susan Parish, Ph.D., dean of the college, Arthur Kellermann, M.D., senior vice president for VCU Health Sciences and CEO of VCU Health System, and members of the dean’s office accompanied Northam during his visit.

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VCU Named Age-Friendly University

Virginia Commonwealth University has been designated an Age-Friendly University, and is now part of a group of 78 institutions worldwide that are members of the Age-Friendly University Global Network. VCU is the only university in Virginia to receive the designation.

“It’s a public commitment and an important piece of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Tracey Gendron, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Gerontology in the VCU College of Health Professions. “We are really trying to be a role model. We are now among a group of people throughout the entire world that has committed to this.” 

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New health services degree gives students a chance to make change

Health care jobs are in high demand during the pandemic. And with student interest in health care careers on the rise (according to educators’ responses to a January 2021 Education Week survey) Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Health Professions is offering more options for students.

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Starting this fall, a new Bachelor of Science in Health Services program will give students who are passionate about improving health care but might not be as interested in clinical aspects the opportunity to advance their careers.

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Class of 2021: Cara Harman wants to help patients regain their lives

Cara Harman realized at a young age how happy she felt when she was helping someone else. At 6 years old, she wanted to help her parents’ close friends, whose baby was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

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“I drew them cards, helped my mom make dinners and baked goods for them and helped raise money towards the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” said Harman, who will graduate next month from the VCU Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program in the College of Health Professions.  “I remember even donating my tooth fairy money to the MDA.”


Distinguishing Chronic Low Back Pain in Young Adults

Peter Pidcoe Ph.D., D.P.T., Alexander Stamenkovic, Susanne M. Van der Veen, and James Thomas Ph.D., D.P.T., write a paper discussing distinguishing chronic low back pain in young adults. The paper is available for public viewing at the link below.


Follow this link to learn more

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Angela Duncan named to associate dean shared position at the School of Nursing and College of Health Professions

VCU School of Nursing announced that Angela Duncan, Ph.D., M.S., M.Div., has been named associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion in a shared position with the VCU College of Health Professions, effective immediately.

A champion for reducing health disparities in marginalized and underserved communities, Duncan has led the College of Health Profession’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as associate dean since January 2020. Her exceptional work led to her being engaged to assess and guide the School of Nursing’s DEI efforts, said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean and professor of the VCU School of Nursing.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the College of Health Professions to leverage Dr. Duncan’s exceptional skill in building an inclusive organization,” Giddens said. “Her experience and perspective will help advance our work to provide a diverse and inclusive environment as well as equity in the education we offer to our students.”

“Each of us has the opportunity to incite meaningful change that challenges systemic barriers, so the responsibility to foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion lies within every member of an organization,” said Duncan, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Patient Counseling at the College of Health Professions. “I am truly honored to partner with the School of Nursing, and will strive to strengthen a foundation built upon VCU’s core values.”

Duncan has served in various roles at VCU and VCU Health. She served as assistant dean for student affairs and community engagement for more than five years and as interim chair of the Department of Patient Counseling at the College of Health Professions. She also served as manager of bereavement services at VCU Health and as faculty chaplain at the Pauley Heart Center. 

Prior to VCU and VCU Health, Duncan served in management consulting in health care information technology, medical and hospital practice management technology, and product assurance and quality engineering in both the automobile and aerospace industries. She has also been a member of various for-profit and nonprofit boards in the areas of health and human service, finance, education, television, and religion.

Duncan earned her B.S. in zoology/chemistry from Howard University, her M.Div. from Union Presbyterian Seminary, and both her M.S. in patient counseling and Ph.D. in health related sciences from VCU.

Have a story about the College of Health Professions in action that you'd like to share? Contact us at mgburkett@vcu.edu or (804) 828-7247.