University News

School of Health Sciences Earns Leadership in Health Care Award

The honor presented last month by the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce recognizes the School of Health Sciences’ commitment to preparing health care professionals for the 21st century.

November 13, 2018

School of Health Sciences
University of New Haven faculty and staff celebrate the School of Health Sciences receiving the 2018 Leadership in Health Care Award from the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

Having been a healthcare faculty member for more than a decade at multiple institutions, Summer McGee, Ph.D., dean of the University of New Haven’s School of Health Sciences, has seen – and studied – the gap between the skills academic programs endeavor to impart and the workforce needs of health care employers.

“We must equip our students with the long-term tools to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare industry, including leadership skills, systems thinking, and understanding the root causes of disease,” says McGee. “Our School of Health Sciences is committed to working closely with employers and the healthcare community to train professionals with the skills and knowledge needed today – and in the future.”

This commitment to preparing healthcare professionals for the 21st century helped the School of Health Sciences earn the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Leadership in Health Care award, which McGee accepted last month.

“The key for our School of Health Sciences and our students is being relevant today and future-proofed for tomorrow.” Summer McGee, Ph.D.

The award is given by the Healthcare Council of the GNHCC to institutions or individuals who have made an impact on the workforce of the region, who show leadership and innovation in their activities, and who have demonstrated commitment to improving healthcare.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Chamber for our commitment to healthcare innovation and workforce development,” said McGee. “This recognition from the business community confirms that our School of Health Sciences is at the forefront of healthcare education for the 21st century.”

Making the honor all the more impressive is the fact that the School of Health Sciences officially opened less than six months ago as the culmination of nearly three years of collaboration and planning by more than 25 faculty members across all schools and colleges at the University.

The School of Health Sciences includes the Departments of Allied Health, Nutrition Sciences, and Health Administration and Policy, as well as the University’s programs in dental hygiene, healthcare administration, health sciences, and nutrition and dietetics. SHS also plans to launch 10 new academic programs over the next decade.

“Our School of Health Sciences is committed to working closely with employers and the healthcare community to train professionals with the skills and knowledge needed today – and in the future.”Summer McGee, Ph.D.

“I’m a builder,” says McGee, who previously served as chair of the University’s Department of Health Sciences. “I’m constantly looking to shape or form or create something new that can stand the test of time."

McGee was recently included in the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences’ 20 under 40 list that recognizes accomplished young alumni. She says the mission of the SHS is captured in two words: growth and excellence.

“The key for our School of Health Sciences and our students is being relevant today and future-proofed for tomorrow,” she says.

This vision is epitomized by Bryanna Leone ’20, a nutrition and dietetics major, who, among other experiences, shadowed a professor during his shift on the oncology unit of a local hospital to observe how a dietician works in a clinical setting.

“I feel like I’m learning so much that I can realistically use in the world outside of college and not just in hypothetical situations,” says Leone.