Emory & Henry College announced today that it has taken possession of the former Smyth County Community Hospital with the intention of developing a school of health sciences at the E&H campus in Marion.
Click here to see photos from the event.
This facility symbolizes our belief that strong communities begin with healthy, happy people who are served by highly qualified healthcare professionals. Jake Schrum
President, Emory & Henry College
The announcement was made during a ceremony at the College’s new Doctor of Physical Therapy building on the campus of the former Smyth County Community Hospital, during which Emory & Henry introduced Dr. Louise “Lou” Fincher, the new dean for the School of Health Sciences.
Emory & Henry has now assumed ownership of the former Smyth County Hospital and the surrounding 15-acre campus. The former hospital building will be renovated for the continued development of the E&H Doctor of Physical Therapy program and to accommodate programs in occupational therapy, physician assistant studies and other programs.
“Today we underscore our commitment to improving life for the people of this region through a commitment to better health care,” said Emory & Henry President Jake Schrum. “This facility symbolizes our belief that strong communities begin with healthy, happy people who are served by highly qualified healthcare professionals.”
Schrum welcomed Fincher and expressed confidence in her ability to develop and lead the E&H School of Health Sciences. “Lou brings to this program a solid resume of experience in teaching and managing health science programs as well as a strong sense of the clinical and hospital environment into which our students will graduate.”
Fincher, who holds a Doctor of Education in Human Performance Studies from the University of Alabama, will begin work June 1. She currently serves as chair of the Department of Kinesiology for the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she has worked since 2000. Prior to her work there, she served as president and CEO of the Joe. W. King Orthopedic Institute at the Texas Orthopedic Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Also joining the health sciences school is Dr. John Graham, who will serve as a professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which will be a part of the School of Health Sciences. Most recently, Graham served as a professor of biology at King University. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia.
Prior to today’s announcement, Emory & Henry received financial support for the physical therapy program and the School of Health Sciences totaling $1.9 million from the SCCF, the Town of Marion, Smyth County, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. Other important partners in the project have been the Mountain States Health Alliance, the Smyth County Community Hospital and the hospital’s chief executive officer, Lindy White.