Welcome to East Tennessee State University's Academic Health Sciences Center. There are just over 120 AHSCs (sometimes referred to as Academic Health Centers or Academic Medical Centers) in the United States. To qualify as an AHSC, an institution must have a college of medicine and at least one other health profession's school and either own or be affiliated with a major hospital system.
ETSU is fairly unique among AHSCs because of the size and complexity of our academic offerings. We have a college of medicine plus four additional colleges, offering a total of 35 degree programs including 10 doctoral degrees. These colleges are the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the College of Public Health. We also offer extensive graduate medical and graduate pharmacy education through our residency training programs.
ETSU enrolls over 4,000 students in these health programs, and therefore, is a significant provider of health care professionals for our region.
These educational programs affiliate with Mountain States Health Alliance, Wellmont Health System, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Frontier Health, and numerous clinics and care delivery sites through the region. In addition, our medical, nursing, dental hygiene, speech and hearing clinics provide greater than 215,000 patient visits per year and greater than $4 million per year in uncompensated care to people of our region.
The AHSC at ETSU has a primary care and rural health care delivery focus, however, it also provides secondary and tertiary care through specialists and sub-specialists in a number of disciplines.
A major responsibility for AHSCs is to educate the healthcare workforce of the future. Not only do we focus on developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and diagnostic and treatment skills, but at ETSU we also focus on educating a health professional who can work as part of a collaborative care team of professionals to provide the most comprehensive and efficient care possible. From the first day students enter one of our programs, they know they will learn in an environment that puts them into teams with students from all of our health disciplines. In these interprofessional teams, they learn the roles and responsibilities of all team members and how to communicate effectively to provide quality patient care.
Ultimately, our patients benefit from this type of teaching style.
The changing healthcare environment increasingly demands innovation and integration of health service delivery that is best achieved by a team of highly trained professionals working together with a focus on the patient, the patient's family, and the community. The value added from our AHSC's focus on interprofessional education translates to a more holistic and more efficient care delivery process.
The research we conduct at ETSU is also focused on translating knowledge gained from scientific and clinical studies to improving the way health care is delivered to the patient and to how the health of whole populations of people can be improved. Our focus is on improving the quality of life and the well-being of those we serve.
Dr. Wilsie Bishop
Vice President for Health Affairs