Ohio University launches campaign to highlight leadership in health education

Published: November 17, 2022 Author: Staff reports

As home to one of the ten largest schools of nursing in the country and the medical school that trains more physicians than any other public university in the state, Ohio University has grown to be a national leader in preparing students for careers in health.

Today, the University is launching a statewide branding campaign to increase awareness of its leadership in health as it looks to continue attracting the state’s best and brightest not only to traditional clinical degree programs but also to its growing offerings in related degrees such as healthcare management, health communications and more.

“We have an amazing story to tell in terms of our work training health professionals to serve all over the state and the region, especially in rural communities that need care, as well as our groundbreaking research on prevalent health problems like diabetes,” said OHIO President Hugh Sherman. “It’s time we tell that story.”

OHIO has seen significant growth in its healthcare enrollments over the last 20 years with the launch of its fully online RN to BSN program, the addition of graduate-level nursing programs, and the expansion of OHIO’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Through the generosity of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, and in partnership with major healthcare systems including OhioHealth and Cleveland Clinic, the Heritage College is currently training just under 1,000 medical students at three campuses and 15 clinical cohort sites across Ohio. The University has more than 4,300 students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate nursing programs.

“By expanding opportunities for healthcare training, Ohio University has expanded its reach exponentially, which ultimately translates to better care for our communities,” said OHIO’s Chief Medical Affairs Officer and Heritage College Executive Dean Ken Johnson, D.O. “Together, we are preparing graduates across the healthcare spectrum to address the most pervasive medical needs of Ohioans.”

OHIO’s College of Health Sciences and Professions, which is home to the School of Nursing, is currently one of the only interdisciplinary health-focused colleges in the state, offering nationally respected programs in fields such as athletic training, communications sciences and disorders, environmental health, nutrition, social work and more.

“One of the real advantages of pursuing a health degree at Ohio University is the integration between our programs and the opportunity to be exposed to many different disciplines,” said John McCarthy, interim dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions. “I see that students are particularly interested in making a difference and helping others. Our work in the region and our partnerships provide opportunities for students to make a positive impact on the health of people and populations.”

Johnson and McCarthy have joined forces with Mark Weinberg, dean of OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, to form the Ohio University Health Collaborative, which partners with community health agencies, local governments, schools and more to address large-scale community health needs with a focus on Appalachian Ohio. The Ohio University Health Collaborative is working to address issues such as the opioid epidemic, rural health inequity, the lack of a timely response to disease outbreaks in the region, health insurance disruption due to economic issues, inadequate broadband access as healthcare technology advances and more. 

“Our students want to be a part of our work to address these large-scale issues and make a real and lasting impact on the communities we serve,” Johnson said. 

For more information, visit ohio.edu/health.

By the numbers
  • In 2020-21, the most recent conferral data available, Ohio University graduated 3,207 students in health and related programs, making OHIO the largest producer of healthcare professionals for the state of Ohio.
  • In 2019-20, the University graduated 2,692 students with bachelor’s degrees in health professions and related fields, making OHIO No. 5 in the nation and only second among public universities for bachelor’s conferrals in health fields.
  • With a current enrollment of 987 students, Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine trains more physicians than any other public university in the state and is the state’s largest producer of primary care physicians. 
  • U.S. News ranks the Heritage College 14th in the nation for most graduates practicing primary care. Nearly 60 percent of Heritage College graduates practice in the state of Ohio, and one in three of those is working in an underserved community, making the college deeply important to healthcare access in Ohio.
  • Ohio University has 4,349 students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate nursing programs, making it the largest school of nursing of any university based in Ohio.
  • Niche.com ranks Ohio University as the state’s best college for nursing and the 17th best in the nation based on financial and student life data as well as reviews from students and alumni.
  • OHIO’s online RN to BSN was one of the first of its kind, fully remote bachelor's completion degrees available to associate degree-trained nurses. It is ranked 13th best online RN to BSN programs in the country by College Factual.
  • The Heritage College's Community Health Programs and mobile health clinics serve underserved patients in 25 percent of Ohio’s counties.