ETSU opens newly renovated space in Charles Ed Allen Hall
Space to house new Occupational Therapy Program
JOHNSON CITY (May 4, 2022) – East Tennessee State University celebrated the grand opening of newly renovated space on the first floor of Charles Ed Allen Hall (Building 2) on the VA campus that will house the university’s first cohort of occupational therapy (OT) students who begin the program later this month.
The $4 million renovation began in summer 2021 and transformed 14,000 square feet of space into a state-of-the-art physical rehabilitative sciences hub that will house ETSU’s new Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, as well as a new Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) that is currently in development.
The ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences (CCRHS) held a ribbon cutting on May 4 to officially open the space. The event was attended by university, community and health care leaders, as well as federal, state and local elected officials.
Speakers included U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger, Tennessee Rep. Rusty Crowe, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland, ETSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics Kimberly D. McCorkle, CCRHS Dean Dr. Don Samples and ETSU Trustee Charles E. Allen Jr.
The building is named for Allen’s late father, Dr. Charles Ed Allen, whose efforts led to the establishment of the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine. From 1965 until 1973, he served as the founding president of the Appalachian Regional Center for the Health Arts, which was created as an official health systems agency with one solid purpose: to make the ETSU medical school a reality. In 2005, Building 2 on the campus of the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center at Mountain Home was dedicated and named Charles Ed Allen Hall in Dr. Allen’s honor.
Since 1996, the building has housed ETSU’s Physical Therapy program. With the addition of the OT program this month and the eventual addition of the O&P program, Charles Ed Allen Hall is poised to become an interprofessional destination for students interested in careers in physical rehabilitative sciences.
The first cohort of OT students will begin the program and fill the new space on Monday, May 16.
Excerpts from the speakers:
ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland on the legacy of the late Dr. Charles Ed Allen, for whom the renovated building is named:
“Dr. Charles Ed Allen saw the need for more physicians in our region, and he brought together national, state and local leaders to share his vision to improve the quality of life for the people of our region. Now, this campus is home to the Quillen College of Medicine. Where we stand now is evidence of the unifying power of this region to bring itself together for a singular cause. Today, we continue to reap the benefits of Dr. Allen's commitment. Not only do we have a nationally ranked College of Medicine, we also have a thriving Academic Health Sciences Center comprised of five colleges that prepare students for a host of careers in the health sciences. ETSU is a destination institution for students who are interested in a career in health care.”
Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger on the renovated space and expanding programs at ETSU:
“This is just another step in making this one of the best regions in the whole state. We’re a well-kept secret, but more and more people are beginning to learn about what we have to offer right here in East Tennessee.”
TN Senator Rusty Crowe on the new Occupational Therapy Program at ETSU:
“We’re really, really proud of what we're going to see from the program. This all makes a very loud statement that Nashville sees the value in East Tennessee State University now more than ever, because I think they see that what we do here brings so much value to our students and so much value to our communities.”
Charles E. Allen Jr., a member of the ETSU Board of Trustees and the son of Dr. Charles
“ETSU’s commitment to providing education and training in degrees in a wide variety of health care fields is primarily responsible for the improvement in health care throughout our region. With the opening of the Occupational Therapy Program, ETSU is taking one more step in enhancing the access to high quality health care throughout our region.”
ETSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics Dr. Kimberly D. McCorkle:
“Today is a landmark day for ETSU’s Academic Health Sciences Center. As we add Occupational Therapy to our listing of programs, our presence as a leader in training students for careers in the health sciences is further elevated.”
Dr. Don Samples, Dean of the ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences:
“These completed renovations provide our faculty, students and staff with the clinical, lab and educational space they need to grow these in-demand programs. This building will now serve as ETSU’s ‘rehabilitative sciences hub’ because it will house three rehab science programs under one roof – including our Doctor of Physical Therapy program, our brand-new Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, and the developing master's program in Orthotics and Prosthetics to be located on this floor as well. The fact that this building will now house these rehab sciences programs in one space is a continuation of ETSU’s commitment to interprofessional education and training.”