RU's Rector joins regional health education leaders for concrete-breaking ceremony

RU BOV Rector Wray swings to start demolition of walls that will soon be VIAL anatomy lab

Michael Wray, rector of the Radford University Board of Visitors, swings away at the official "demolition" groundbreaking of the Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab at the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital, on Oct. 3.

In a place where precision will be the norm, a blunt instrument started an important project - The Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab (VIAL).

Friday’s "concrete breaking" ceremonially began VIAL construction. On behalf of Radford University, Board of Visitors Rector Michael Wray wielded a sledgehammer to commence the collaborative project.

Wray was joined by Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) President Dr. Nathaniel Bishop, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTSOM) President and Dean Cynda Johnson, Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Carilion Clinic (CC) Senior Vice President Steve Arner.

Representing the partners in the initiative, the leaders struck the first blows on the shared space in which students from a variety of healthcare-related disciplines will learn in a 15-table, state-of-the-art anatomy laboratory. The site of the lab is on Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital’s eighth floor, home of Radford’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and Jefferson College.

Wray commended the collaborative spirit of the founding partners.


Michael Wray, rector of the Radford University Board of Visitors, addresses the media and guests on Oct. 3 during the official “demolition” groundbreaking for the Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab at the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital.

“This lab will afford each institution a better place to teach and learn than we could build on our own,” he said.  “As responsible stewards of the public dollar, this project serves as a great example of the achievements possible through collaboration – the potential of public-private partnerships.”

Bishop spoke to the future benefits of the partnership. 

“Tomorrow's physicians, therapists, nurses and clinicians will be working together here just as we expect them to work together in their future practices,” said Bishop, M.S. ‘88.

“For Radford University, our Doctor of Physical Therapy students will be directly enriched,” Wray said. “They and their faculty look forward to this addition to their teaching and learning resource base. The DPT program was nurtured here and now eagerly looks forward to the opportunities this new lab will offer.”

Along with the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Psychology, the DPT is one of three doctoral programs offered by RU. Officially accredited this spring, the DPT program includes instruction, anatomy coursework, clinical laboratory experiences and clinical internships. DPT students also develop original, evidence-based research with faculty to advance physical therapy practice. The DPT students will study and research anatomy and physiology in the VIAL as part of their curriculum.

"From this collaboration, exciting synergies for faculty and student education, research and service will emerge," said Kenneth Cox, dean of the Waldron College of Health and Human Services.

More than 1,000 students from the partner schools will use the laboratory, expected to be completed by spring 2015.

VAIL concrete breaking group shot

Michael Wray (far right), rector of the Radford University Board of Visitors, is joined by (from left): Steve Arner, senior vice-president for Carilion Clinic and chief operating officer for Carilion Medical Center, Nathaniel Bishop, President of Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Cynda Johnson, President and Dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Virginia State Senator John Edwards at the future site of the Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Laboratory.

Oct 3, 2014