The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 16

the gist
VWCC is in the process of bringing other programs
to campus, including some offered at Jefferson College
before its merger with Radford University.
Nancy Agee, CEO and President of Carilion, noted
the return of accreditation: "We are delighted about
it, of course. This is more important to the individual
graduates as they often cannot apply to a [bachelor's
degree] or master's in nursing program if they haven't
graduated from an accredited school. We are hoping
to transition [surgery technician] and one or two other
programs to them."
VWCC's program is not directly affiliated with
Carilion, but, says Meyer, "We work closely with the
region's health care providers to craft curriculum that
will help them deliver the best patient care. So, there
are employees of Carilion on our program advisory
board. We also conduct clinical sites at Carilion for
our students to learn in hands-on situations."
Meyer says the accreditation program "is timeintensive and comprehensive. ... There was a review
process taking six months to determine our likely
ability to be successful in the accreditation process.
Candidacy was approved in January 2018, and a
comprehensive and formal self-study of the entire
nursing program was completed and submitted in
December 2019. Following the submission of the
self-study a team site visit for the program occurred
in March 2019 to evaluate the program by a programspecific visitor."
The continuation of the program is vital, says
Meyer. "As the number of people approaching
retirement age within Virginia Western's service
region continues to grow, and surpasses national
averages, filling vacant jobs and providing care to our
gaining population are critical priorities.
"To meet the growing demand for healthcare
workers, the Fralin Center for Science and Health
Professions was completed on our Roanoke campus
in 2013. Since 2013, based on industry and workforce
needs, the Health Professions School continues to
develop and implement new programs, including
Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT), Phlebotomy,
Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI).
"In 2017 the college introduced a successful
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) program and
in January will begin a new collaborative nursing
assistant (CNA) program for students who want to
pursue that as an on-ramp to the nursing pathway.
The College also offers a practical nursing certificate
program and is also in the process of implementing
a physical therapy assistant program, that was once
offered at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences."
VWCC President Robert Sandel says, "The ACEN
accreditation will help us serve our students, our area
health care providers and our community better."
-DAN SMITH

16

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

A Renaissance
in Fincastle?
Government offices are moving out, but new,
exciting businesses are moving in, creating
rejuvenated excitement for Botetourt
County's tiny seat.

THERE WAS A TIME not many centuries ago
when Fincastle was the county seat of a land mass
that went all the way to Lake Michigan and included
Virginia, not-yet-born West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio and
Kentucky. Then, as now, not many people lived there,
and some of those who did looked for greener pastures.
Today, Fincastle's county is the Botetourt we know,
and the town has recently grown from 375 to 525
worthies with the boundary adjustment in 2018 that
saw its physical size grow from 90 acres to two square
miles. By comparison, Vinton is 3.2 square miles and
8,000 population.
Add to the growth the movement of many of
Botetourt's county offices from the county seat to the
Greenfield Center closer to rapidly-growing Daleville
Town Center-and Roanoke-and you can spot a trend
with either an opportunity or a reason for depression.
Fincastle Town Manager David Tickner sees mostly
opportunity, especially with the often-overlooked
downtown area off U.S. 220 where the traffic can be
heavy. At the center of a new excitement in Fincastle is
Erryn and Virginia Barkett's Woodsdale Group, which
has just finished renovating two historic buildings in the
center of downtown with a coffee shop (the Fincastle
Café) and a French gourmet chicken pie restaurant (The
Pie Shoppe). Already, the Barketts have found success
with the Woodsdale Events Venue. It is an Airbnb off
U.S. 11 and home to an estate encompassing a 97-acre
farm and manor house where all kinds of celebrations,
including weddings, are held.
The plans for the coffee shop and restaurant include
a roof-top venue which can house entertainment and
dining. The Woodsdale Group is just a year old, but its
ambition is to work with other downtown businesses
and bring an excitement to the old town. It is a plan
that appears to be working.
Tickner talks about the town being "energized" with
recent developments, especially the coffee shop, which
is busy all day, and The Pie Shoppe, which replaces the
old pharmacy that had been vacant "for seven or eight
years," according to Tickner. Across the street from The
Pie Shoppe is the Barketts' indoor event venue and
nearby is the Kyle House, a wedding venue owned by
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The Roanoker - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - January/February 2020

The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 3
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