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Valley Health System Donates $125K to New Innovation Center

Innovation Center speakers On Monday, November 25, 2019, Winchester Public Schools officially kicked off the construction of the Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center in a “groundbreaking” ceremony at the innovation center site on Jefferson Street.

Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum announced naming rights for the Health Sciences Academy have been awarded to Valley Health System, a longstanding partner and significant contributor to the innovation center of $125,000.

"We are so grateful to Valley Health for the strong partnership we have enjoyed in our CTE program over the years. As we respond to the demand in our region for career ready health services graduates, we are delighted that the Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center Health Sciences Academy will carry the Valley Health name.” stated Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum.

Mark Merrill, CEO and president of Valley Health System, commented “Valley Health is pleased and honored to partner with Winchester Public Schools in supporting the establishment of the Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center and serve as the lead supporter of the Health Sciences Academy. This partnership further expands Valley Health’s long-standing collaboration with high schools throughout the region. This investment in creating the Valley Health System Health Sciences Academy is a commitment not only to today’s students and tomorrow’s healthcare providers, but also to the legacy of healthcare excellence in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.”

Winchester Public Schools is renovating and repurposing the former John Kerr Elementary School to develop the new professional skills academy. The curriculum at the new facility will be organized into three career-based academies—Health Sciences, Professional Skills, and Advanced Technologies. The academies will be supported by an expanded work-based learning program to connect students to regional businesses filling high-wage jobs in the targeted clusters.