inPractice - Summer 2017 - 3

A LEGACY OF

LEADERSHIP

20

Looking Back on

President

Simcox's

Years

LEADING OUR INSTITUTION

Like so many things in President Simcox's career,
it all started with a phone call.

I

n 1997, while working as an instructor at Roxborough
Memorial Hospital's nursing school, President Simcox
received a call from the then-Vice President of the Lancaster
Institute for Health Education (also known as LIHE - one
of PA College's many iterations) asking if she would consider
joining LIHE as the Dean of Nursing. Seven months later, that
Vice President was no longer with the institution, and President
Simcox was asked to step into an interim role overseeing all of
LIHE's programs. A short while after that, the position became
permanent - and the rest, as they say, is history.
After assuming the role at the helm of LIHE, President Simcox
worked with a small but mighty group of dedicated faculty and
staff members to help set the course for the future of the Institute.
"A group of us met every Thursday, all day, for a year, to figure
out what the future of LIHE looked like," she said. Eventually,
the group came up with six potential scenarios and presented
them to the leadership of Lancaster General Health, setting the
Institute on the path to becoming the college it is today.
As President Simcox describes it, "Ignorance is bliss. We didn't
know what we didn't know, which is a good thing, because if
we knew then what we know now, we might not have done it!"
Forming a college was uncharted territory for everyone involved.
No one knew of any colleges that had just started - other local
colleges like F&M, Millersville and Elizabethtown had all been
formed decades ago. "People ask us who we worked with as a
consultant to become a college, and they can't believe me when I
say, no one. Now, looking back, even I find it hard to believe, but
we did it with just a core group of very dedicated people, and a
really good staff willing to carry the torch and get the day-to-day
work done while we figured out how we would become a college."
As described in the article on page six, "The Road to Becoming
a College," making the transition to a degree-granting
institution was no easy feat. From pushing for a change to

state regulations, to a lightening-speed accrediting review
and approval process, the path traveled to become a college
was anything but typical. But through the tenacity and
determination of President Simcox and the dedicated staff and
faculty of the college, LIHE became the Lancaster General
College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2001.
In the years that followed, President Simcox oversaw the
addition of three new bachelor's degree programs as well as
two expansions of the College's buildings, and helped lead
the College through a developed strategic planning process.
Beginning in 2010, President Simcox and the Board of Trustees
began discussions about building a new campus. From
numerous downtown locations to expansions at existing sites,
options were constantly changing and shifting. "As frustrating
as that process was, looking back now, I think the best thing
that happened is that we never built on any of those sites,
because we would have built a campus that looked like every
other campus," she said. Through strategic planning efforts, in
2015 the vision for a learner-centered campus began to flourish
and drive the new campus planning process. "The new campus
was actually built on a vision and a strategy, as opposed to 'oh
my gosh, we're really cramped, quick put a building up!' With
the Greenfield campus, we have a unique space that will last us
for a long time and set us apart."

"Dr. Simcox is the consummate professional. She is
the perfect leader for our College since she embodies
the commitment to excellence, the character and the
determination that we want each of our graduates to
embrace. Her leadership has been unparalleled."
- Tom Beeman, Chief Operating Officer of Regional
Operations for Penn Medicine

Continued on page 4
SUMMER 2017|inPractice 3



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