The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has awarded $300,000 to Emory & Henry College to help in the hiring of a full-time dean of the E&H School of Health Sciences in Marion.
The money, which will be matched with $300,000 from community partners in Marion, covers the recruitment, salary, benefits and startup costs for the new dean.
The new dean, who is expected to be in place by next fall, will oversee a school that will include a doctor of physical therapy program (DPT), which is expected to start in July 2014, and expand thereafter to include other health science programs such as occupational therapy and physician assistance.
Meanwhile, Emory & Henry has announced that it has hired Kamran Tavakol to serve as director of the DPT program. Tavakol, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in Calgary, Canada, recently retired as an associate professor of physiology and biophysics at the Howard University College of Medicine, where he taught since 1998. Prior to working at Howard University, he served as an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
“Expanding our health sciences programs beyond the DPT will require a full-time administrator on the Marion campus,” said E&H President Rosalind Reichard. “These programs require considerable advance planning and, as a result, leadership that can assure that we are designing high quality programs that meet the needs of our community.”
Three community partners have each provided $100,000 to match the funds from the Tobacco Commission. These partners are the Town of Marion, the Smyth County Board of Supervisors and the Smyth County Community Foundation.
The School of Health Sciences is expected to have a large economic impact on the region. The financial impact of the physical therapy program alone has been estimated conservatively at $11.5 million. In addition, the number of new jobs directly created by the School of Health Sciences is conservatively estimated at a minimum of 36, with an average salary of approximately $80,000.