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Springfield College Appoints David J. Miller Dean of School of Health Sciences & Rehabilitation Studies

April 15, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 15, 2011 -- Springfield College has appointed David J. Miller, P.T., Ph.D., as dean of the School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies, effective September 2011.

The school is the only one in the Northeast offering undergraduate and advanced degree programs in physician assistant studies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation and disability studies, as well as bachelor’s degree programs in emergency medical services management, health sciences/general studies, and communication sciences and disorders.

Seven hundred students are enrolled. The faculty of 30 experts in their fields possesses more than 400 years of collective teaching experience.

Announcing the appointment, Jean Wyld, Springfield College vice president for academic affairs, said, “Dr. Miller, with his experience in all disciplines of this school as its interim dean since 2009, outstanding professional reputation in physical therapy, commitment to community collaboration and academic excellence, and vision for this school’s future, is the ideal choice for this position.”

Miller responded to the appointment saying, “This school, because of its wide range of long-established programs, is uniquely able to provide the interdisciplinary education that is essential for the healthcare careers of today and tomorrow. Modern healthcare is increasingly collaborative, with teams providing care.

“Our graduates are in great demand because of this synergistic academic preparation that also includes extraordinary hands-on experiences through fieldwork and internships throughout the U.S.”

Springfield College has been offering various academic programs in the fields now structured within its School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies for more than 50 years. Historically, Springfield College has had an international reputation in the holistic education of the spirit, mind and body since the 1880s.

“For graduates in these fields, the employment outlook is strong. The U. S. Bureau of Labor statistics projects a 22 percent increase in healthcare employment by 2018, which is more growth than any other industry. The forecast is for 3.2 million new healthcare jobs. Half of the top 20 fastest growing careers are in healthcare.

“Strong growth is also projected for graduates of our rehabilitation and disabilities studies department. For example, employment in rehabilitation, mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral disorder counseling is projected to grow between 14 and 19 percent over the same period,” Miller added.

Community collaboration will continue to be a key component of the school’s educational programs, Miller said. Currently, students serve internships or perform volunteer work that is related to their studies at Baystate and Mercy Medical centers, Providence and Shriner’s hospitals, state agencies, schools, health centers and clinics, insurance companies, and other venues across the country. There are plans to expand internships and learning through service.

Miller earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Stockton State College, master’s degree in physical therapy and biomechanics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and doctoral degree in exercise science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

As a licensed physical therapist, he held positions at Duke University Medical Center and Charlotte (N.C.) Rehabilitation Hospital and as a member of the faculty practice at UNC-CH.

He joined Springfield College as an assistant professor in 1986, was named associate professor in 1994 and full professor in 1999 and served as chair of the physical therapy department between 2003 and 2008.

In his field, he is the author of numerous published articles, opinions and book reviews, and has given many presentations before national professional groups, including a recent presentation at the national meeting of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions. He has been awarded multiple grants, and has held several consultative and advisory positions. He has been an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 1976.

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