VCU, Claude Moore Foundation partner to support health career progression of Southwest Virginia community college students

By Malorie Burkett
VCU College of Health Professions

Jan. 17, 2023

Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Health Professions (CHP) has partnered with the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation (CMCF) to establish the VCU Bridge Pathway Program. The program is designed to recruit and support Southwest Virginia community college students into CHP undergraduate health care degree programs.

As part of the initiative, CMCF has provided funding to support implementation of VCU Bridge, a pathway program which includes hiring a program coordinator, scholarships, and associated program costs.  

According to Alena Hampton, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs and student success in the VCU College of Health Professions, the resources will help the College achieve its enrollment goals by supporting 20 VCU Bridge participants annually.  

“Southwest Virginia is a critical area in which to focus these efforts, due to the severe health care workforce shortage in the region,” said Hampton. “We are grateful to the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation for entrusting us with their support, and for making this initiative possible.”

Participants of the VCU Bridge programs will be provided peer mentorship and will participate in co-curricular program that will assist them in acclimating to a four-year institution and prepare them for their health professions career. Targeted community colleges include Virginia Western, Southwest Virginia, Mountain Empire, Wytheville, Virginia Highlands, New River, Patrick Henry, and Danville. 

The College is in the process of searching for a VCU Bridge coordinator, who will oversee the program and lead recruitment strategies. These include promoting the program, communicating with VCU Bridge applicants, and developing the schedule of co-curricular and community building programming and events. 

“Having a dedicated coordinator will provide the College with more opportunities to connect with students, faculty, advisors and partners throughout the Southwest Virginia community,” Hampton said. “I am confident that the relationships we establish through VCU Bridge will positively impact our students as they prepare to serve in health care roles.”

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation (CMCF) is a private Virginia philanthropy established in 1987 by Dr. Claude Moore. Moore grew up in poverty, and through hard work and frugality became a successful physician and landowner. The foundation’s giving includes funding its “flagship program”, the Claude Moore Scholars Program, as well as invitational grants to non-profit organizations primarily serving, but not limited to Loudoun County. These grants tend to focus on education, health, and human services. In the past 35 years, CMCF has provided over $90 million in grants to more than 500 non-profits. For more information, visit the Claude Moore Foundation's website..

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