UD, Thomas Jefferson University establish Partnership in Health Education
UD President Patrick T. Harker (left) and Robert L. Barchi, president of Thomas Jefferson University, sign the agreement establishing a new Partnership in Health Education between the two institutions.
UD President Patrick Harker
Robert L. Barchi, M.D., Ph.D., president of Thomas Jefferson University
Thomas Ferry (left), chief executive officer of the Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children, congratulates President Harker and President Barchi on the new partnership agreement.
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5:02 p.m., Sept. 12, 2008----A new Partnership in Health Education between the University of Delaware and Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson) builds on a long, successful history of collaboration in health care education and marks the first of what may be several partnerships between the two institutions.

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The expanded institutional collaboration was officially signed by UD President Patrick T. Harker and Robert L. Barchi, M.D., Ph.D., president of Thomas Jefferson University, at the Nemours Childhood Cancer Awareness and Education Symposium, held Sept. 12 in Wilmington, Del.

“We are pleased to further solidify our partnership with Thomas Jefferson University in an agreement that will bridge and supplement academic and research strengths of both organizations,” Dr. Harker said. “We share many common goals, and, by combining our efforts, both institutions will be in much stronger positions to meet needs in health care education and to initiate research to address critical needs affecting our world. Such collaborative programs are a key part of the University's Path to Prominence".”

“The creation of the Partnership in Health Education formally acknowledges Jefferson's and Delaware's long-standing commitment to advancing health care education in this region,” said Dr. Barchi. “This joint effort enables both of our institutions to effectively compete in the tri-state area and gives students another choice in advancing their knowledge. With this collaboration, our scholars will receive a more comprehensive education which will provide them with ample opportunities for success in patient care, education and research.”

In the academic area, the partnership will support successful implementation of existing collaborations in the Medical Scholars Program (which leads to a bachelor's degree from UD and a medical degree from Jefferson), occupational therapy and pharmacy, as well as the possible development of expanded collaboration in such areas as nursing, health policy, population health, rehabilitation sciences, physical therapy and biomedical engineering. In addition, policies and procedures will be developed to allow students to enroll in courses and gain academic credit at either institution.

Building on the shared educational opportunities of both institutions, the partnership also will facilitate the development and submission of joint proposals for externally funded research in areas of shared priority, and procedures will be developed to facilitate research collaboration and processing of joint initiatives. Task forces will be developed to evaluate areas for research collaboration--such as cancer biology, cardiovascular research resources, neuroscience, nursing, aging and rehabilitation sciences--that may include other partners, specifically, Nemours and Christiana Care Health Services. Indeed this renewed and strengthened partnership between the universities provides a strong base from which to build a broader alliance that includes both Nemours and Christiana Care, and deliberations on such a health sciences alliance are now under way.

Other UD/Jefferson partnership initiatives include using distance learning technologies to offer classes and colloquia jointly, developing e-learning tools and providing a Web site that explains the purpose and activities of the partnership.

An executive committee, composed of senior administrators from both universities, will be charged with strategic planning and collaborative program administration. Appointed by the two university presidents, this executive committee will identify areas of shared priority through joint task forces and work to develop or expand coordinated educational programs in areas of shared priority.

Earlier this year, both institutions signed an agreement for the creation of a new degree program that offers a bachelor of science degree and a doctor of pharmacy degree. Students spend three years at UD's Newark campus followed by four years of graduate pharmacy coursework at the Jefferson College of Health Professions, earning a bachelor of science degree in biology from UD and a doctorate in pharmacy from Jefferson.

About Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University, the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia, is comprised of the Jefferson Medical College, The Jefferson College of Graduate Studies and the Jefferson College of Health Professions, which includes the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions. Jefferson is regarded nationally as one of the best universities offering a range of comprehensive programs for the education of health professions. Jefferson Medical College serves as the medical school for the state of Delaware.

About the University of Delaware

The University of Delaware, the flagship institution of the state of Delaware, is one of the oldest Land Grant institutions in the nation, and one of only three institutions to also have Sea Grant, Space Grant and Urban Grant status. The University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with very high research activity--a designation accorded fewer than 3 percent of U.S. colleges and universities.

Article by John Brennan
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson