Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As you are well aware, our region has significant opportunities to accelerate economic development and improve population health in Hampton Roads when compared to other areas in Virginia, and nationally. Over the years, conversations have occurred regarding further aligning health sciences resources — specifically research, health education and training, and health care delivery — to address these opportunities. To further that goal, Old Dominion University (ODU), Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), and Sentara recently signed an exploratory memorandum of understanding (MOU) on December 17, 2021, to articulate the potential value of further aligning health sciences activities in Hampton Roads.

As ODU and EVMS have a long history of working together collaboratively on many programs, a key component underlying the MOU is to complete joint planning around the specifics of a health sciences affiliation between the two institutions. To ensure this work is conducted in the context of nationally leading models, ODU and EVMS retained advisors with expertise in strategic planning and affiliation design to facilitate a process for developing a joint vision, strategies, and an affiliation model for health sciences.

The advisors will facilitate working teams starting this month spanning three areas of strategic planning (Research; Education and Training; and Patient Care), as well as financial planning and communications. These five work teams, staffed by ODU and EVMS faculty and administrators identified by leadership at each institution, will provide key inputs to a Steering Committee of each institution's senior management teams that will guide the overall process.

There are many details to work through, and we must ensure that any affiliation would, indeed, benefit ODU, as well as our communities and our citizens, substantially. To that end, we are optimistic that a properly resourced affiliation could be of tremendous benefit to both ODU and EVMS.

We face an important moment in our history, and the potential to achieve more through greater affiliation is inspiring to both institutions. I will continue to provide our students, faculty, and staff with regular updates about our progress and decision making. Thank you in advance for all you do to support the multifaceted mission of ODU and our valuable partners!

With Monarch Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.