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Kasiska Division of Health Sciences Announces Reorganization

June 11, 2020

On July 1, the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences will reorganize into two colleges, the College of Pharmacy and College of Health. The reorganization will include a School of Nursing and School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences housed within the College of Health.

The task to reorganize the KDHS began in Fall 2019, with a goal to identify potential savings and generate increased revenue in clinical services. The need to reorganize the Division was compounded by budget reductions from the State of Idaho. One of the budget savings initiatives that became evident was a reduction in administrative level payroll, benefits costs and operating expenditures. Six months ago, KDHS had dean searches underway for three of its four colleges, and was identified as a place where cost savings in this area could be immediately realized. 

A search for the College of Health dean will be formalized in the coming weeks. Karen Neill, PhD, former interim dean for the former College of Nursing, will serve as associate dean and director of nursing for the College of Health. Chris Sanford, PhD, CCC-A, chair for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will also take on an additional role, serving as interim associate dean for the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences.

 As part of the reorganization and continued program growth within the KDHS, a new Health and Wellness Department will comprise the University Health Center, Wellness Center, Family Medicine Residency, Dental Sciences program, and the Institute of Rural Health. In Fall 2020, the first psychiatrists in a new psychiatric residency program, in collaboration with the University of Utah, will begin their residency training in Salt Lake City. They will spend two years there before transferring to the Pocatello area to gain valuable experience and provide mental health services in Southeast Idaho. As the need for mental health services continues to grow in Idaho and around the country, their training and expertise will be invaluable in caring for those seeking treatment for a variety of mental health concerns.

In 2018, the KDHS underwent a reorganization to allow for expanded growth in student enrollment, program offerings and to extend the statewide health care reach as part of an overall mission to reduce shortages and fulfill health professions workforce needs in the State of Idaho.