West Coast University announced that its new Master of Science of
Occupational Therapy program will be headed by Dr. Nicolaas J. van den
Heever, Founding Dean and Program Director.
Dr. Nicolaas J. van den Heever will become West Coast University's Founding Dean and Program Director of its Master of Science of Occupational Therapy program. (Photo: Business Wire)
A prime example of West Coast University's diverse leadership, Dr. van
den Heever was born in South Africa, where he attended university and
received his degree in occupational therapy. Early in his career, he
worked in various health care settings in South Africa, including
serving as a university professor. In the early 1990s, Dr. van den
Heever was approached by the World Health Organization to start a
rehabilitation clinic in China. At that time, rehabilitation was an
unfamiliar concept in China, and Dr. van den Heever spent several years
traveling the country, training doctors at health care facilities in the
practice of rehabilitation.
In 1995, he moved to the United States where he has since worked as a
therapist, program director, hospital administrator, and university
faculty member. Over his 28-year career, Dr. van den Heever has worked
at every level within the discipline, from providing direct patient care
to management to educator.
He brings this unique background and experience in health care to the
students at West Coast University, understanding that students learn by
listening to stories and then drawing from their own experience. By
developing this personal connection, Dr. van den Heever provides
students with a memorable tool for learning.
West Coast University is adding three new programs - all pending
accreditation approvals. These new programs-the Master of Science in
Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Pharmacy, and Doctor of Physical
Therapy-are being added to the University's long-established nursing and
dental hygiene programs. Occupational Therapy students will take some
courses alongside students from other health care disciplines, helping
to prepare all students for a collaborative approach to patient care
outside the classroom.
Dr. van den Heever praises the University for the timely expansion of
its allied health care professions. He points to the current movement in
health care to provide patients with interdisciplinary care and the
resulting need for students to gain an inter-professional education.
Further, he notes that West Coast University's Program of Occupational
Therapy will help to advance the American Occupational Therapy's
Centennial Vision, which focuses on creating a "science-driven and
evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse
workforce meeting society's occupational needs."
Dr. van den Heever is a licensed member of the California Board of
Occupational Therapy, and a member of the American Occupational Therapy
Association. Additionally, he is Region 1 Director and a Member of the
Executive Board of the Occupational Therapy Association of California
(OTAC). He is also a Board Member of the California Foundation of
Occupational Therapy (CFOT) and People Power Chair for the American
Occupational Therapy Association 2013 Annual Conference.
About West Coast University
Coast University is one of Southern California's leading health care
educators, offering programs in nursing, health care management and
dental hygiene at campuses in Los Angeles, Orange County and Ontario,
and nursing programs at its new campus in Dallas, Texas. The Commission
on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) awarded programmatic
accreditation to WCU's Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in
October 2009 and its Master of Science in Nursing program in May 2012.
WCU's Dental Hygiene program at the Orange County Campus is accredited
by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental
Association to offer the only Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental
Hygiene (BSDH) in the County. It is one of only four BSDH programs in
California. West Coast University is regionally accredited by the
Accrediting Commission of Senior Colleges and Universities of the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC - www.wascsenior.org).
Barry Ryan is the President of West Coast University.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20121114006888/en/
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