Dean’s Welcome

Welcome to the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions. We welcome you to join us as we enter a new period of growth and excitement. We are privileged to be preparing the next generation of health care professionals. Building on our storied 40 year history of educating nurses, dietitians, physical therapists and respiratory therapists, we are thrilled to announce the addition of a new Master of Occupational Therapy degree. In addition, we are entering our second year of offering an undergraduate interdisciplinary degree program in clinical health informatics. This field is one of the fastest growing tracks in health care, so we are excited to be a part of this health care advancement.

In 2013, the Lewis School faculty and staff crafted and adopted a strategic plan to take us through 2015. While this ambitious plan continues to emphasize our core missions of teaching, research and service, it also positions us to reach our ultimate goal of becoming the Southeast’s premier school for health care education.

In the next few years, more than 30 million more Americans nationwide will gain access to health care. The emphasis placed on preventative and primary care by the Affordable Care Act, along with numerous advances in the health care industry, increases the demand for our graduates. Likewise, the need for health care providers is growing as our population ages. Georgia is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses, dietitians, respiratory therapists and physical therapists. While these shortages are low, they are expected to increase as the economy improves and older workers retire. Our graduates will be prepared to meet the high demands that will come with these changes in our country’s health care systems.

Innovative ideas are changing the way we teach. Our faculty is fully engaged in using new classroom technologies, ‘flipping classrooms’ and increasing simulations in our clinical preparation of students. We have also sent several teams to the national interprofessional education collaborative conferences so we can better teach health professionals how to work together to provide high quality health care. In addition, we are partnering with local medical schools in this initiative so that we can truly provide team-based, patient-centered care.

Our faculty, students and alumni are engaged locally and globally as they lead the future of health care around the world — from communities and hospitals in Atlanta to those in China, Kenya and Turkey. Their research projects include ways to reduce the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes, improve techniques during stroke rehabilitation, create designs for adaptive virtual reality toys for chil­dren with cerebral palsy and develop ways to further geriatric-care education.

We are proud of our accomplishments and are enthusiastically planning our future. We cordially invite you to be a part of this process by exploring our website or by joining one of our social media sites to learn more about the plans we have for the future of our school, our students, our faculty and staff, and our research initiatives. We know the next few years will bring much excitement and change to the Lewis School.  Join us and be a part of the future!

Andrew John Butler, Ph.D.
Interim Dean
Associate Dean for Research and Professor