The Inspira Health Sciences Center, a two-story, 27,390-square-foot facility that will be home to the new Respiratory Therapy Program offered by Rowan College of South Jersey in partnership with Inspira Health, recently opened in Deptford Township.
The new Health Sciences Center labs, which were designed with Inspira Health guidance, are meant to copy existing Inspira facilities. Counter heights and stool heights are specific to the type of work students will be hired to do as a medical technician, such as microscope versus seated specimen work.
The facility also will house RCSJ’s current exercise science program, and the future medical technician and surgical technician programs.
Dr. Susan Hall, dean of nursing and health professions at RCSJ, said collaboration was key.
“Our respiratory therapist colleagues from Inspira were critical to the design of the teaching and learning space,” she said. “The clinical experts defined the space needed for equipment and hands-on instruction. On the second floor, the learning space for the clinical medical technician and surgical technician programs were created with input from our colleagues at Inspira.”
The Respiratory Therapy Program is a new degree opportunity offered at Rowan University, in partnership with RCSJ and Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine. Respiratory therapy is a 2+2 program, meaning the first two years of study are provided through RCSJ faculty, and the last two years through Rowan University faculty, all on the RCSJ-Gloucester Campus.
The Respiratory Therapy Program is the first program to emerge from research & development of this premier partnership.
As a health science, respiratory therapy pathway major at RCSJ-Gloucester, students will take courses to prepare an application to the Bachelor of Science respiratory therapy entry to practice track. The BSRT program at Rowan University holds provisional accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
Thirty seats will be available for the Fall 2023 RTP cohort. All four years of the program will be taught in the Inspira Health Sciences Center. Next up will be a Medical Technician Program, and then a Surgical Technician Program.
RCSJ President Frederick Keating said he’s thrilled to see the partnership have real results.
“As president of RCSJ, my focus is connecting education with industry,” he said. “Over the past several years, I’ve talked with industry leaders, asking: ‘What credentials does your current workforce need? Who will you need to hire — and with what skills — for future growth?’ That’s how RCSJ’s premier partnership with Inspira was born — collaborating to educate and employ the South Jersey community.”