Nathaniel L. Bishop '88, president of Jefferson College of Health Sciences, shared his unique perspective and experiences as a health care professional with Radford University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students in the Health Policy and Administration class on Wednesday, April 16, in Roanoke.
"Collaboration is what it is all about," he said. "There is a power in collaborations, connections and partnerships."
As an example of a "domino story of all the things that have to happen," Bishop reflected on how collaboration helped him coordinate a three-year, $110 million consolidation project that brought together women and children in-patient services from Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital into new space at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Looking ahead, Bishop talked about a pair of proposed collaborative projects - the Combined Anatomy Project and a bio-ethics certificate program - as "private-public partnerships that will enhance educational opportunities and patient experiences."
The Combined Anatomy project is an effort between RU, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and JCHS to create an anatomical lab that will be used by students from all three institutions. The bio-ethics program, a joint venture between RU and JCHS, would be a program designed for working health care and biomedical professionals to provide ethical competency needed for ensuring patient safety, building community trust and supporting best practices in the expanding fields of healthcare, medicine and biomedical research.
"We can do things together far greater than we would be able to do alone. Before worrying about what you don't have, work to make use of resources you do." he said.
Titled "Building a Diverse Health Care System and Community Partnership," Bishop's presentation to the second-year students in the DPT program drew upon his varied career that began in 1975 as the first African-American police officer in Christiansburg. Bishop was RU’s first graduate of the Bachelor of General Studies degree program and he subsequently earned a Master in Education degree from Virginia Tech and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
"It is nice to have a plan, but it has to be executed. Begin by establishing relationships and communicating to find ways to overcome obstacles," he said. "As clinicians, you know that negotiating is a big part of helping people do what they might have to do. Sometimes you have to go through the valleys to reach the mountaintops."
Bishop's presentation is part the RU DPT program's partnerships with local and national businesses, hospitals and public schools to share learning and career development experiences that prepare candidates to provide quality care throughout the population's lifespan. The first cohort of DPT candidates will graduate May 9-10 in Radford during RU's Spring Commencement ceremonies.