SALT LAKE CITY – Western Governors University (WGU) has appointed Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of its College of Health Professions. In this role, Dr. Jones-Schenk will lead all strategic, operational, and academic initiatives and processes for the college, which has nearly 30,000 enrolled students and 70,000 graduates.
Dr. Jones-Schenk’s appointment is key to the college’s strategy to expand its scope to include professional development and credentialing programs as well as collaborative ventures aimed at advancing healthcare practice and administration. To help meet the demand for skilled healthcare workers, the College of Health Professions formed the Center for Professional Learning (CPL), and earlier this year, the CPL was selected as the first education partner to Futuro Health, a nonprofit collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). In addition, the college now houses the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC), a group established in 2015 to lead the transition to value-based care and address workforce competencies for that transformation.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the need for expansion and innovation in nearly all aspects of healthcare education,” said Dr. Jones-Schenk. “We know we need more nurses, nurse educators, and nursing informaticists, but we also need credentialed workers in areas such as medical coding, care coordination, and health leadership. While so many other institutions must focus now on adjusting programs and curricula to a virtual environment, WGU is fortunate that we can look at the issues created by COVID in a broader, more strategic way.”
“Expanding the scope of our College of Health Professions and consolidating its leadership enables us to move our work in this area forward strategically and efficiently,” said WGU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Marni Baker Stein. “Dr. Jones-Schenk is the right leader to catalyze the innovation and transformation needed to meet healthcare needs, both now and in the future.”
Dr. Jones-Schenk joined WGU in 2008, leading the university’s development and launch of the nation’s first competency-based prelicensure nursing program. Under her leadership, the College of Health Professions has grown to be the nation’s largest provider of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. Dr. Jones-Schenk is a past president of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Board of Directors. She served eight years on the American Nurses Association Board of Directors and nine years as a Trustee for Park City Medical Center, an Intermountain Health Care facility in Park City, Utah. She serves on the board of directors of Aquifer, a medical education technology company, and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She earned a Doctor of Global Health from A.T. Still University.