Dr. Carolynn DeSandre has been named the dean of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) College of Health Sciences and Professions following a national search. DeSandre has served as interim dean since December 2019.
"The College of Health Sciences and Professions is one of the most innovative and dynamic colleges on campus," DeSandre said. "I look forward to leading this group of faculty and staff and supporting their creative ideas."
Dr. Chaudron Gille, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, announced DeSandre's selection as dean in a June 30 email to faculty and staff.
"Dr. DeSandre has provided valuable leadership during the COVID-19 crisis and in other significant college initiatives," Gille said. "I am pleased to have her lead the university's College of Health Sciences and Professions."
A certified nurse midwife and family nurse practitioner, DeSandre joined UNG's nursing faculty in 2007. She was one of the co-authors of UNG's proposal for the Doctor of Nursing Practice, which launched its first cohort in fall 2019. DeSandre also helped develop the college's interprofessional education model and has led UNG's mock disaster program.
This spring, she piloted a Designated Education Unit (DEU) with Northeast Georgia Health System. The DEU program provides hands-on clinical instruction for UNG students at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville and Lumpkin hospitals, as well as Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Urgent Care and Primary Care facilities. The program includes Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, students in the Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in family nurse practitioner program, and Doctor of Physical Therapy students.
DeSandre is eager to meet the college's mission by helping to fill the region's persistent health care workforce gap that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
"My vision for the college is to grow our amazing programs and enroll more students so they can get out there and fill these jobs in rural north Georgia," DeSandre said.
DeSandre earned her Ph.D. in human development and family science from the University of Georgia and her Master of Science in Nursing in nurse midwifery/family nurse practitioner at Emory University. She also earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.
Her research areas of interest are chronic disease in families and interprofessional education and practice in health professions. DeSandre maintains a clinical practice at Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, and she serves as program director for annual international medical mission trips to Bolivia and Uganda in partnership with Helping Hands Foreign Ministries.
The College of Health Sciences and Professions includes counseling, nursing, physical therapy, and interdisciplinary healthcare departments. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program was recently named to the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools list, and UNG's nursing degree programs have regularly been recognized among the best in the state.