|Adena Health System and OU-C have partnered in previous endeavors that benefit the region.|
OU-C is partnering with Adena Health System to offer an academic degree-completion program that is tailored to help the health system’s employees gain the skills they need to advance in their careers. Beginning this fall semester, Adena Health System caregivers will be able to pursue a Bachelor’s of Technical and Applied Studies Degree, with an emphasis in health care administration and applied management.
The offering includes components of three bachelor’s degree academic programs offered on the Chillicothe Campus: applied management, health services administration, and technical and applied studies.
The program is designed to give Adena caregivers the skillset they need to be eligible for advancement into leadership and management roles within the organization.
“We have been in discussions with our colleagues at Adena Health System about making best use of our combined resources,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “Several Adena employees have some college experience but have not completed bachelor’s degrees. The leadership at Adena is interested in a program that would allow their caregivers to earn a bachelor’s degree, which would provide them with greater opportunities to advance into new roles. This inter-disciplinary program, which combines the offerings of various academic pursuits, seems like a natural outcome.”
The degree program supports Adena’s commitment to providing its employees with meaningful professional development opportunities.
“As an organization, we invest in development: staff, leadership and physicians,” Adena Health System Chief Learning Officer Gail Games said. “We work to address gaps within our leadership team, both internally and externally. When Dean Tuck and I started talking about ways to fill in those gaps and prepare Adena’s future leaders, the idea of a customized program evolved. We are so excited to be able to offer this specialized degree to our Adena caregivers, which only strengthens not only our current leaders but those who wish to pursue those positions in the future.”
The new academic offering has been a testament to teamwork.
“The leadership at Adena Health System had a particular interest in increasing its pool of caregivers who are eligible for middle-management leadership roles, which is very much the emphasis of the technical and applied studies major,” program coordinator Donna Burgraff said. “Technical and applied studies is probably the most flexible degree on the Chillicothe Campus, so we took a look at the curriculum and worked with program coordinators Tanya Hire (applied management) and Vicky Parker (health care administration) to see how we could put together a program that meets the needs that were expressed.”
“This program represents a partnership, not only with Adena, but with the directors of three academic programs on the Chillicothe Campus, working together so we can meet the needs of area students. Individuals from Student Services have also been instrumental in overcoming obstacles and making this a reality in addition to offering advice through advising sessions at Adena.”
As a result of this cooperation, and assuming sufficient enrollment, plans are to allow Adena Health System caregivers enrolled in the program to earn six college credits by taking classes on six Saturdays this fall. Those classes will be held at Adena’s PAACAR Medical Education Center. Further, the program may be the start of something bigger.
“The hope is, in the future, other area employers will approach us and share their needs, as did Adena Health System, and we can again see what we can do to offer a program that is tailored to meet their needs,” Burgraff said.
In many ways, this program captures the spirit of the Chillicothe Campus.
“I think that is truly the beauty of being a regional campus. We are used to working with students who have time constraints, balancing family and job responsibilities in addition to their academics,” Burgraff said. “We know our student body and what they need to succeed in their academic pursuits. Also, we were able to move quickly and put together this program in just a couple of months after the first conversations. Everyone was motivated, and for the right reasons. The individuals at Adena want to invest in their employees, and OU-C saw an area employer with a need and the ability to meet it.”
The Chillicothe Campus and Adena Health System have similar missions of improving the quality of life for the residents of this region. Consequently, each has previously formed similar partnerships that combine their varied resources toward this shared goal.
For example, students in OU-C’s BASE accelerated bachelor’s degree nursing program take their classes in Adena’s world-class PACCAR Center facility. Further, Adena provides clinical sites and instructors for the Chillicothe Campus’ nursing program.