Patricia Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA, has been officially named chair of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences in the Old Dominion University College of Health Sciences. Having served as interim chair for several months, Patricia steps into this role with a wealth of experience and a clear vision for the future.

Patricia “Patty” Laverdure brings a distinguished career and deep expertise to her new position. The School of Rehabilitation Sciences is a multidisciplinary unit that includes graduate programs in athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, an undergraduate program in recreational therapy, and an active rehabilitation clinic. Laverdure reflects, "As I prepare to step into the role of Chair of this dynamic department, I have been reflecting on and celebrating the journey that has led me to this point. I'm grateful for the many mentors that have shared this journey with me and the faculty and staff who have been gracious in their support of my learning in the role as Interim Chair."

Dr. Laverdure took on the role of interim chair following the medical leave of the previous chair, Steve Morrison, who was deeply respected within the ODU community. Supporting the department through the loss of Steve Morrison was one of the key challenges she has faced. Despite these challenges, she worked diligently to understand organizational procedures and the culture of the department and the college.

As she steps into her new role, Dr. Laverdure is focused on advancing the School of Rehabilitation Sciences through collaborative leadership and strategic planning. "My specific goals are to engage the faculty in the development and implementation of short and long term goals for the department, and engage the staff of the Faschini Wallach Center for Restorative Therapies in the development and implementation of a strategic plan of development," she explains. Her priorities include clarifying the department’s organizational purpose, developing a strategic plan, facilitating collaborative decision-making, and ensuring transparent and fair resource allocation.

Dr. Laverdure emphasizes the importance of strengthening the faculty and staff by fostering open communication, encouraging collaboration, and recognizing achievements. She also highlights her commitment to supporting students' success in an inclusive and collaborative learning environment. "To the ODU community, I would like to strengthen the department’s viability and impact and build connections and partnerships," she says. "I invite their collaboration on the development of the healthcare workforce of the future."