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Anderson University OKs plan to expand health care program

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A new college within Anderson University will feature three new schools focusing on allied health, physical therapy and human performance.

The university announced its plans to form the College of Health Professions, which is scheduled to begin in June 2016. University officials said the new School of Physical Therapy and two nurse practitioner programs will be located at University Center in Greenville. Anderson University already has four undergraduate programs and 20 graduate programs available at University Center.

As part of the formation of the College of Health Professions, the Anderson University board of trustees approved the formation of three schools: The School of Human Performance, School of Allied Health and School of Physical Therapy. These will accompany the addition of the existing School of Nursing to the new college. The Department of Kinesiology will become the School of Human Performance, and the Department of Human Services will be the first department within the new School of Allied Health.

Evans Whitaker, president of Anderson University, said the university started the process of developing health profession academic programs four years ago “to supply health providers and the public with competent and compassionate health care professionals.”

“Today, with the state of the art facilities and a distinguished faculty, we are in an unprecedented position to launch this comprehensive College of Health Professions,” Whitaker said, in a statement.

The School of Physical Therapy plans to offer a doctorate in physical therapy, which requires approval from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education before the program can be implemented. School officials said the earliest the program can begin is 2018. Anderson University Provost Tim Smith said studies indicated the need for physical therapists in South Carolina.

“Currently, there are only two programs in South Carolina with no program currently available in Upstate South Carolina to serve the region,” Smith said in a statement.

The dean of the new College of Health Professions is Donald Pease, the current president of the American College of Health Care Executives for South Carolina. He was formerly the regional director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and director of community health clinics for AnMed Health.

In August 2015, the university announced it would have its inaugural class of graduate nursing students enroll in the fall of 2016. That program will also be housed inside University Center in Greenville.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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