ODU planning major health sciences expansion into Virginia Beach

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University is branching out by expanding into Virginia Beach.  

ODU already has a building — you may have seen it in the Virginia Beach Bio Innovation Corridor along Princess Anne Road. 

The first step is to bring more than 1200 students and faculty members to their existing space.  The next step: new clinics and new buildings.

It’s a project spanning two cities.

ODU Provost & VP for Academic Affairs Austin Agho said, “We plan to build a $75 million health science center right in Norfolk, but even with that, we still need more space to train students.

Agho says that space is in Virginia Beach. “Just imagine what we would be able to do in Virginia Beach, where we have more space and have more services.”

Starting this fall, ODU will expand some of its health sciences programs to the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center.  From there, they’ll work to open new clinics that will be available to the community. 

“New primary care services, physical therapy services, mental health services, speech-language services there,” Agho said.  Plus, there will be a substance abuse prevention center and patient simulation center.

This gives students and faculty the chance to work side-by-side and learn about new things, like telehealth.  “Telehealth basically is the use of telecommunications to provide health services at a distance,” Agho said.

Ahgo says the university also plans to open a free-standing School of Public Health — becoming one of the first public health schools in Virginia.

“In order for us, as an institution, to respond to provide more opportunities for students to learn and be trained to be healthcare providers, we need more space,” Agho said. 

They are filling the need for health care providers one student at a time. 

The university will offer a shuttle service for students to get to and from each campus.  University officials say they’re working with city officials to develop plans for their new buildings. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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