Head shot photo of Amy R. Darragh.
Amy R. Darragh, Ph.D., will start as dean of the VCU College of Health Professions on Aug. 15. (Contributed photo)

VCU appoints Amy R. Darragh dean of College of Health Professions

Darragh comes to VCU from The Ohio State University, where she has served as director and vice dean in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

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Virginia Commonwealth University today announced that Amy R. Darragh, Ph.D., has been named dean of the VCU College of Health Professions, effective Aug. 15. 
Darragh comes to VCU from The Ohio State University, where she has served as director and vice dean in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. 
As dean, Darragh will lead nine departments and one center, 84 full-time faculty representing 20 educational programs and nearly 1,250 students across four campuses in Richmond, Roanoke, Abingdon and Alexandria. 
“Dr. Darragh’s distinguished leadership, commitment to innovation and strong collaborative vision make her uniquely positioned to lead the VCU College of Health Professions,” said Marlon Levy, M.D., interim senior vice president, VCU Health Sciences and interim CEO, VCU Health System. “I am confident that her extraordinary track record of academic and leadership success will help continue to build on the college’s stellar reputation.” 

With an extensive history of curricular and program development at the doctoral, master’s and undergraduate levels, Darragh has focused recent efforts on expanding the radiologic sciences and therapy programs in partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to meet workforce demand; expanding online undergraduate and graduate offerings; and implementing an eSports and game studies undergraduate major. A licensed occupational therapist, Darragh has centered her teaching on dynamic learning environments, universal design principles and psychological safety.  

Her current research includes developing and testing novel pediatric and adult interventions that optimize patient outcomes while protecting caregiver health. Darragh’s recent work includes NIH-funded phase II and phase III clinical trials in pediatric neurorehabilitation and virtual simulation interventions for young adults and adults.  

“I am thrilled and honored to serve as dean of a college that prepares students who will work in some of the most in-demand health care roles, and who will ultimately impact the patient experience throughout our communities,” Darragh said. “I look forward to advancing the college’s efforts to inspire the most outstanding health professionals, researchers and leaders.” 

Darragh received a Ph.D. in environmental health epidemiology from Colorado State University, an M.S. in occupational therapy from Colorado State University and a B.A. as a double major in psychology and Program in the Arts, Barnard College, Columbia University.  

She will succeed Paula H. Song, Ph.D., interim dean and Richard M. Bracken Chair and professor of health administration.