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In-demand career programs include EMS, physical therapy, nursing, radiology

Video: Groundbreaking Speeches

Speakers included, right to left, Gov. Kaine, President DiCroce, Mayor Sessoms and TCC Board Chair Lee Armistead. Right, Dr. DiCroce and Gov. Kaine staked out a corner of the Regional Health Professions Center with a bevy of area leaders.

NORFOLK, Va. (July 22, 2009) – Continuing to help fuel the region’s critical-needs workforce, Tidewater Community College has broken ground for a comprehensive Regional Health Professions Center (RHPC) on its Virginia Beach Campus.

On July 22, Gov. Timothy Kaine joined TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce, city officials, business, healthcare and civic leaders, and TCC community members to stake out a corner of the 65,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.


“I can’t think of a better example of what President Obama had in mind when he announced last week his unprecedented proposal to invest $12 billion in this nation’s community colleges over the next 10 years,” said TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce, who noted that TCC trained more than 10,000 students in its 13 health profession specialties in the past two years alone.

“TCC’s Regional Health Professions Center will provide our students with the most current, the most rigorous training in education in the health profession disciplines, those that are so critical to the region’s healthcare delivery and economic growth,” added DiCroce. The Center also positions TCC to at least double its output of healthcare professionals and expand myriad partnerships.

President DiCroce talked about the need for the RHPC to local TV news teams.

TCC's logo rose as the event concluded (center).

Professor Gary Cross staked out a corner of the new center with TCC leaders, Gov. Kaine and city, civic and business representatives.

In TCC’s usual out-of-the-box manner, the groundbreaking featured stakeholders pounding stakes into the ground, symbolizing critical investments in health education through the new Center. Guest speakers included Gov. Timothy Kaine, Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr., Virginia Beach Vision President Stephen R. Davis,TCC Board Chair Lee Armistead, TCC respiratory therapy professor Gary Cross and radiography student Patricia L. Baldwin.

The Center will support TCC’s 13 health profession disciplines – from critical care to health information technology to medical assistant to nurse aide to physical therapy assistant – as well as potential new programs such as mammography, ophthalmology, phlebotomy and surgical technician. TCC has over 6,000 students preparing for careers in the health professions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector will generate more new jobs by 2016 than any other industry. In fact, seven of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are healthcare related.        

Over 300 people gathered to break ground for TCC's new center, including dozens of health professions students.

In addition to specialized classrooms, TCC’s high-tech Regional Health Professions Center will offer 15 laboratories and 15 simulation areas, including a sleep lab, doctor’s office, ambulance area, and sonography, nursing and respiratory therapy labs with human patient simulators.

Expected to be completed by the end of 2010, the Center was designed by architect Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering with construction by Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.

Manifesting its continuing strategic growth, in 2009 alone TCC dedicated its Joseph N. Green District Administration Building in Norfolk and its Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and broke ground for the first of four student centers and for the Regional Health Professions Center.

Michael D. Summers Deborah M. DiCroce Timothy M. Kaine William D. Sessoms Jr.
Stephen R. Davis Lee Armistead Patricia L. Baldwin Gary L. Cross
Photos by Jerry Altares and Bradley Smith


Rendering of the Regional Health Professions Center


News Coverage

The Virginian-Pilot

The Daily Press

Inside Business




Laurie White
Media Relations

Celebrating its 40th year, Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls over 40,000 students and has the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 15th highest associate-degree producer in the nation and the 35th largest community college, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit