August 30, 2012
One of the hallmarks of an institution's viability, durability, and relevance is the degree to which it is sought as a resource and partner, not only by the people and organizations in the community it calls home, but also by outside groups that can enhance and expand their own services and reputation by allying themselves with the institution.
Such alliances are occurring at a rapidly growing rate for WesternU, as more and more organizations seek to align themselves with our educational and patient service endeavors, and partner with us to provide even better service to greater numbers of people.
Most recently, the Center for Oral Health (COH), which was based in Oakland, decided to move its headquarters to the WesternU campus in Pomona. The center, which was established in 1985, is dedicated to promoting public oral health with a focus on children and vulnerable populations. COH collaborates with national, state, and local partners to develop community-based strategies for improving oral health.
In announcing COH's move to campus, Steven Friedrichsen, dean of WesternU's College of Dental Medicine (CDM), said improving oral health will require innovative approaches in our nation's new health-care environment. CDM will work with COH to promote positive change, measure the impact of that change, and use the information to support the policies and political will needed for improved oral health.
This expansive view of the role dental health could play in the larger health care picture represents the kind of thinking across our University that is driving potential partners to WesternU's door. For example:
- The College of Graduate Nursing is working with nurse leaders at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center to explore a formal collaborative partnership between the two, with the overarching goal being improved health system quality and safety through professional development, improved professional practice, and enhanced leadership capacity.
- The College of Optometry has formed an MOU affiliation with the California School for the Blind to examine and provide services for San Bernardino County children with visual impairments.
- The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific is leading the way for WesternU in an integration study with Tri-City Mental Health, as part of an effort to improve interagency collaboration among providers of physical health, substance abuse, mental health, and other services.
- The College of Pharmacy has partnered with Letco Medical to bring compounding training to the West Coast, utilizing COP's Professional Development Laboratory to provide pharmacy owners, managers, staff pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians with the skills and information they need about compounding to expand their health-care role and diversify their business.
- The Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences is in discussions with ChemDiv, a CRO (contract research organization) company interested in partnering with WesternU to perform services for pharmaceutical and biotech firms.
These are but a few examples from a long list of activities taking place throughout WesternU. In all of our colleges and patient care enterprises, leadership is adept at seeing the entire health-care landscape, not just to find where their discipline fits into it, but to discover how each profession can help coordinate care, learn from one another, and arrive at innovative, patient-centered solutions. WesternU's Interprofessional Education program is teaching this philosophy, just as our colleges and care centers are putting it into practice.
Throughout its nearly 35 years of existence, WesternU has prided itself on being a health-care resource for the communities it serves. As our institution continues to grow, and our mission extends ever farther past the horizon, we find that more and more potential partners are making their way to our door, just as we have made our way to theirs over these many years.
Viability, durability, and relevance are three of the watchwords of our institution.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU's Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
All the best,