A group of graduates sitting in a row.

Providence College to address healthcare crisis by expanding health sciences, adding nursing

Photos: Providence College

Providence College (PC) President Fr. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. announced today that the College has begun a period of research and planning to add a myriad of programs in the area of health sciences, including nursing, to its academic curriculum.

Fr. Sicard, PC’s 13th president, named in 2020, said, “My vision for the future of Providence College includes the prospect of expanding our academic programs into the area of the health sciences. The New England area, as well as much of the country, is experiencing a severe shortage of nurses and other public health personnel. We feel a PC program could be well positioned to help address that need. As we move forward with study and analysis, we want to be sure any new programs in health sciences will be viewed as welcome and necessary by the local and regional healthcare community.  To that end, we have begun reaching out to healthcare leaders to get their collective insight and input as to what programs would be most needed.”

Kyle J. McInnis hired as Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy & Planning

Fr. Sicard also announced his hiring of Kyle J. McInnis, Sc.D., FACSM as senior advisor to the president for strategy and planning. Dr. McInnis will analyze the market and competitive environment to evaluate the feasibility of nursing and other, appropriate healthcare-related opportunities that might best fit at Providence College, including degree and non-degree certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In his most recent position as Provost at Johnson & Wales University (JWU), Dr. McInnis had a major impact on expanding the breadth of that institution’s academic portfolio, and established a research infrastructure leading to an influx of federal grants in the area of health sciences.

Prior to joining JWU, Dr. McInnis was the founding dean of the School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College in Massachusetts. There, he hired all faculty and professional staff for that school and oversaw the construction and build-out of state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate the offices, classrooms, and laboratories necessary for the school’s launch. He was responsible for the development of eight new degree programs at Merrimack, including a nursing program that attracted more than 1,000 applicants annually for a limited number of highly sought-after slots per class. He also led the planning for new undergraduate and graduate programs in the school that led to exponential growth in student enrollment.

Dr. McInnis is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell where he received a BS in Biological Sciences.  He earned an MS in Exercise Science from Springfield College and a Sc.D. in Applied Anatomy and Physiology from Boston University. He was chair of the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and of Merrimack College’s Department of Health Sciences before becoming the founding dean of Merrimack’s School of Health Sciences. He also served as associate dean of the School of Science and Engineering at Merrimack, and as vice president for graduate, research, and learning innovations.

Dr. McInnis is a distinguished, nationally recognized researcher who has published over 100 scholarly articles, and who has served as both editor and author of some of the most widely used textbooks and academic journals in the fields of exercise science and sports medicine. His research appointments have included work at preeminent academic centers, including Mass General Brigham, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute, and Boston University Medical Center. His “Active Science” program has been used by thousands of children from low-income schools across the United States, and he received a national recognition award from the U.S. Surgeon General. His scholarly work that focused on health inequities among low-income and underserved children and communities exemplifies his visionary approach to align mission and purpose.

Founded in 1917, Providence College is the only college or university in the United States administered by the Dominican Friars and has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 4,000 students.  Providence College consistently has been ranked among the top five regional universities in the North according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” 

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