Merger between health schools announces new name

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A positive partnership--that's how the merger between Carilion Clinic, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and Radford University is being described. Monday, leaders unveiled a new name for the partnership, and gave an update on the process.

Leaders of Carilion Clinic, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and Radford University gathered together to present a new milestone on their merger--a name: Radford University Carilion.

"It symbolizes the past and the future, so the past, we have, Carilion has been a partner with Radford University for other 30 years, and then it symbolizes our future together, as we continue to build healthcare education here in the Roanoke Valley," Jeanne Armentrout, Chief Administrative Officer for Carilion Clinic, said.

They are waiting on the final approval to make the merger official this summer.

"When you think about just the shortages that we have in terms of nurses in many of our healthcare fields, this is creating an opportunity for us to be innovative in some of our approaches," Brian Hemphill, President at Radford University, said.

Officials say this merger will also expand opportunities for the students.

"There are finite number of spaces that we have, we only admit about 100 students into Radford University's nursing program on an annual basis, and so with that, this will provide more opportunity for expansion," Hemphill said.

"We just think it's an excellent opportunity for students to be able to come and study and then to go out and become healthcare professionals around here and then across the nation," Nathaniel Bishop, President of Jefferson College of Health Sciences, said.

The leaders say this merger will also help to grow the collaboration between healthcare and education in our area.