College of Health Professions Undergoes Departmental Restructure

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The Departments of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Health Informatics and Information Management in the College of Health Professions are now known as the Department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences. The merger was done to allow better structural alignment with the college. (From left to right: Dr. Hassan Aziz, Dr. Rebecca Reynolds, Dean Stephen Alway, Dr. Keisha Burnett and Dr. Kathy Kenwright) (Photo by Terri Fought/UTHSC)

Two departments in the College of Health Professions at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have merged for a better structural alignment within the college. The Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and the Department of Health Informatics and Information Management are now known as the Department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences.

“This merger  will create new synergy and foster new exciting collaborations among the faculty, staff, and students; realize cost savings and administrative efficiencies; and enable more focused cross-disciplinary work,” said Stephen E. Alway, PhD, FACSM, dean of the College of Health Professions. “It also will provide us with the opportunity to reallocate our resources in a way to make us more efficient and flexible and thus more competitive in a modern, technologically enhanced teaching and learning environment, moving the college forward.”

The restructure includes transferring degrees and academic programs and respective faculty to the newly merged department. There are no faculty changes, but departmental space changes are coming.

Hassan Aziz, PhD, FACSs, MLS(ASCP)cm,  is  serving as interim chair of the department. He will also continue as associate dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs for the college. Each program within the department, (Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Cytopathology and Histotechnology, and Health Informatics and Information Management) will have its own program director. Kathy Kenwright, EdD, will lead Medical Laboratory Sciences, while Keisha Burnett, EdD, will oversee Cytopathology and Histotechnology. Rebecca Reynolds, EdD RHIA, FAHIMA, will continue her leadership of the Health Informatics and Information Management program. A permanent replacement for the chair position will be named at a later date.

“The  new department name puts more emphasis on educational programs and research focuses with commensurate transfer of academic programs/degrees and reporting faculty,” Dr. Aziz said. “Our mission is to offer a variety of specializations to prepare students for careers in today’s health care system and to gain the skills and knowledge needed to make medical improvements and innovations for the future. We aspire to be nationally recognized by blending teaching, scholarship, and community engagement.”