Dr. Thomas A. Cavalieri has been appointed as the inaugural senior vice provost of the Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and is Virtua Health’s new chief academic officer.
Cavalieri previously has served as dean of the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) since 2006 and will be taking on an even bigger leadership role overseeing the progress of three colleges: the SOM, the School of Nursing and Health Professions and the new School of Translational Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.
“In his new role as senior vice provost, Dr. Cavalieri will have oversight of all the undergraduate and graduate education and research programs, as well as the infrastructure and systems to support the academic mission of the three schools that are part of the Virtua Health College,” said Ali A. Houshmand, president of Rowan University.
Other than being dean, Cavalieri has also had a 40-year career as a physician specializing in geriatric medicine. He is a founding director of The New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, a center dedicated to raising the quality of care for older adults.
“It’s really an honor to serve as the senior vice provost of the Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences of Rowan University. This new college brings together Virtua Health, the largest health system here in South Jersey, with five hospitals. It brings that with Rowan University really aimed at transforming health here in South Jersey,” Dr. Cavalieri said.
Founded in 1998, Virtua Health is one of the largest healthcare systems in southern New Jersey, with its operations including cardiovascular health, maternity and newborn care, neurosurgery, oncology and cancer care, organ transplantation, primary care orthopedics, surgery and urgent care.
According to its website, Virtua Health has more than 14,000 individuals working with about five hospitals, seven emergency departments, seven urgent cares and more than 280 locations.
Directed by the NJ Medical and Health Science Education Restructuring Act, in 2013 the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey school of osteopathic medicine partnered with Rowan University. Since then the school has grown, with students taking classes on both the Stratford campus and Sewell campus at the Rowan College of South Jersey
“The relationship with Rowan has enabled our school to really flourish and now because of this relationship with Virtua Health, it will help us bring things to another level but also expand our training to include nursing school, other health professionals, other health professions, research, etc,” said Dr. Cavalieri.
Dr. Cavalieri’s new role will require him to look over the undergraduate medical education curriculum, process class size expansion and prepare the campus for medical education programs.
Undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Nursing and Health Professions can expect degrees and specialized certifications for nurses if they so choose.
Theresa Drye, who is currently chief human resources officer and vice president of human resources at Rowan University, was also promoted along with Dr. Cavalieri. Her role will be to oversee the transition of the physician practice plan, integration of the nursing school and administration oversight for the college.
“The affiliation also provides the clinical practices with resources including a robust electronic medical record system which will enhance patient care as well as provide continuity of care between SOM, Virtua and other healthcare organizations utilizing the same medical record systems,” Drye said.
The partnership between Rowan University and Virtua Health included an $85 million endowment, the second largest in school history, giving them a huge advantage to growing even more as a program that has already seen considerable progress.
“Rowan University is becoming a powerhouse in healthcare,” said Cavalieri. “And I would say students in South Jersey or New Jersey interested in careers in the health profession, please come to Rowan University because we can make it happen.”
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