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Old Dominion University and Operation Smile will announce a new partnership on Wednesday, May 30, marking the formal beginning of collaborative efforts between the university and the Norfolk-based children's medical charity.

ODU Health Sciences Dean Andrew Balas and Dr. Bill Magee, CEO and Co-founder of Operation Smile, will preside over the signing ceremony, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the River Rooms of ODU's Webb University Center. As part of the agreement, Old Dominion faculty and resources will be utilized in a variety of capacities.

The first collaborative activity kicks off immediately following the ceremony, involving Operation Smile's Physicians' Training Program (PTP) and ODU faculty. This year PTP, which serves as a critical component of Operation Smile's training and educational initiatives, features a specific curriculum for nurses who volunteer with the organization.

More than 60 physicians and nurses from more than 20 Operation Smile partner countries will attend the signing ceremony and then conduct team-building activities. From May 30-June 1, nurses from across the globe will visit the ODU campus to participate in scenario-based workshops, observe nursing classes and receive advanced-skills training.

"The roles of nurses in Operation Smile's humanitarian medical missions are immense," said Ann Campbell, a senior lecturer in the ODU School of Nursing. "With our College of Health Sciences and nursing faculty, we have so many resources to offer."

Campbell, who has volunteered with the organization the past eight years, including traveling on missions to Bangladesh, Brazil and Morocco, has been integral in forging the partnership.

According to Campbell, the university has supported Operation Smile for many years. "This agreement makes our partnership official and expands the many possibilities for collaboration," she said.

Dr. Bill Magee said, "Operation Smile has partnerships with leading medical teaching institutions across the world, and is excited to partner with Old Dominion University, located in our hometown, to develop programs and curriculum to integrate into our partner countries around the world."

Most of the training sessions will take place in ODU's Health Sciences Building. The 80,000-square-foot facility, which recently underwent a $9.3 million renovation, features state-of-the-art laboratories, a hospital ward, assessment and motion analysis labs, human diagnostic research center and fully mediated classrooms and labs.

This article was posted on: May 29, 2007

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