Overview

George Fox University is exploring the possibility of participating as a significant partner in an allied and mental health college in Roseburg, Oregon.

In spring of 2019, the university signed a memorandum of understanding with Oregonians for Rural Health, a coalition dedicated to promoting the health and vitality of the state's rural communities, to determine the scope, degree programs and location for a facility that would offer advanced degrees for healthcare professions.

The exclusive partnership between the parties also includes provision to explore fund development and in-kind contributions to build and equip the college facility.

Addressing a Need in Southern Oregon

The need for healthcare education in Southern Oregon is great, as the region faces "growing allied and mental health workforce shortages that pose serious healthcare access issues," according to Kelly Morgan, CEO of Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon, and a longtime member of the Oregonians for Rural Health coalition.

George Fox has expanded its healthcare education offerings in recent years, adding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (2004), a doctorate in physical therapy (2012) and an RN to BSN degree-completion program (2019). The university will also begin a physician assistant program in January of 2021.

Project Scope

The scope of what programs will be offered in Roseburg has yet to be determined, but plans call to offer degree programs at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels.

Ultimately, the goal of the proposed project is threefold:

  • Provide a reliable pipeline of skilled allied healthcare and mental health professionals in multiple high-demand medical fields
  • Connect individuals to living-wage jobs through locally delivered degree programs
  • Create economic growth and stability across the region

Connecting to the George Fox Mission

The potential addition of a Southern Oregon site is the latest example of George Fox's commitment to addressing the growing need for healthcare education and services. The initiative also ties into the university's mission, which charges its students to "serve with passion."

In addition to physical therapy and nursing, the university also runs a behavioral health clinic in Newberg, a minimal-cost mental health center designed to provide services to the uninsured and underinsured citizens of Yamhill County and the surrounding area. The institution's physical therapy and counseling programs also incorporate clinics. 

The proposal also aligns with George Fox's commitment to develop programs that offer hands-on practical training and provide a much-needed service to the community of which they are a part.

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