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Photo Essay

[Event Video]

With United States Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tidewater Community College President Deborah M. DiCroce and officials dedicated the Regional Health Professions Center (RHPC) on the Virginia Beach Campus at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2012.

Driving healthcare education to new frontiers of clinical learning in simulated, high-tech medical settings, the 65,000 square-foot, three-story facility will serve thousands of students each year.

“This state-of-the-art center immerses students in a learning environment that is virtually identical to what they will see in the workplace,” said DiCroce. "We are integrating the most current technology with 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.” TCC trained more than 13,000 students in its 15 health profession specialties in the past two years alone.

Health professions students gave Sen. Warner a TCC sweater to mark the occasion.

President DiCroce greeted Sen. Warner with Virginia Beach Campus Provost Mike Summers. Hundreds listened to dedication speeches.

Sen. Warner praised DiCroce for her vision and willingness to “go first” with new ideas and innovative initiatives, crafting partnerships that help meet workforce and student needs. Regarding the critical value of the RHPC, he noted that 50 percent of nurses and 80 percent of EMTs are being trained at community colleges.


TCC’s Regional Health Professions Center offers dozens of laboratories and simulation areas, including a doctor’s office, a two-story apartment for physical and occupational therapy, a sleep lab, sonography stations and respiratory therapy labs with state-of-the-art human patient simulators.

Launching the RHPC couldn’t be more timely. The need for allied health professionals in the region is expected to grow by 18.7 percent by 2018 – with more than 8,000 job openings (Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.). In Hampton Roads, 1 in 12 people work in healthcare (Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, JobsEQ, 2011).

Along with a momentous ribbon cutting, Sen. Warner and President DiCroce unveiled a plaque to dedicate the center.

Increasingly TCC is being looked to as a leader in Virginia and Hampton Roads for healthcare education and training. The center builds on TCC’s tradition of excellence in health-career education, including nurse preparation in the Beazley School of Nursing.

TCC continues to connect the dots between industry workforce demand and job seekers. Notably, the college recently received federal grant awards to lead electronic health records training across 12 states and to head up health-workforce preparation in the Commonwealth.

Sen. Mark R. Warner
Provost Michael Summers, Virginia Beach Campus Wynn L. Dixon, Jr., President and CEO, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr., Virginia Beach Lavonne P. Ellis, Chair, TCC Board
  President Deborah M. DiCroce Sen. Mark R. Warner  

The center positions TCC to increase its output of healthcare professionals and expand partnerships to include Operation Smile and the region’s hospitals.

“Experiential learning – with the latest technology and advanced medical simulation – is the hallmark of our Regional Health Professions Center,” says Provost Michael Summers, Virginia Beach Campus, where the RHPC is located. The center marries science and technology with hands-on diagnostic learning.

The RHPC supports TCC’s 15 health profession specialties which include critical care, emergency medical technician, health information technology, medical assisting, nurse aide, phlebotomy and physical therapy assistant – as well as potential new programs such as mammography, ophthalmology and surgical technician. The college has nearly 8,000 students preparing for careers in healthcare.

Guests witnessed the dedication and enjoyed tours of the facility.