Publisher: The Blade
The University of Toledo and Ohio University announced a new partnership Thursday aimed at finding solutions to the state’s health problems.
The public universities will establish the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health and create joint academic offerings so that students from both institutions can study together.
The alliance is designed to bring experts from each university’s health colleges together to tackle key issues such as opioid addiction, infant mortality, chronic disease, and access to health care. They’ll conduct research, analyze data, and review various health initiatives, among other things, said Christopher Ingersoll, dean of UT’s College of Health and Human Services.
“Essentially, we’re combining the resources, the intellectual capital, from the two universities to help solve some of the health-related problems in the state of Ohio,” Mr. Ingersoll said.
Rick Hodges, former director of the Ohio Department of Health and a UT alumnus, will lead the alliance. He has been tasked with finding other organizations across the state to partner with so that efforts aren’t being duplicated.
The alliance is still in the early stages, but its first initiative will focus on opioid abuse and addiction.
“If we work together we can probably do better than if we worked independently,” Mr. Ingersoll said.
UT officials believe the alliance will further President Sharon Gaber’s goal of becoming a top research university in the country.
“Through the alliance, the idea is that we would be able to attract dollars to support these research efforts, and our faculty and students would be the ones who are involved,” Mr. Ingersoll said.
Students from both UT and OU will be able to take advantage of course offerings at each institution’s health colleges. For instance, UT has a certificate program in chemical dependency that OU students might be interested in. OU has a certificate program in global health, which UT does not.
Classes will become a mix of students learning in-person and by video conference.
“We’re making the expertise at both institutions available to all our students,” Mr. Ingersoll said.
Officials hope to make the joint academic offerings available by fall of 2018. The alliance launched Thursday.