skip to main content

With new Healthcare Coaching Institute, Virginia Tech shapes next generation of industry leaders

August 30, 2016

Dean Cynda Johnson of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, along with an unnamed student, studies a computer model of the human body.

Dean Cynda Johnson, along with an unnamed student, studies a computer model of the human body.
Dean Cynda Johnson, right, of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. The medical school opened its doors to its first class in 2010, becoming part of the growing healthcare industry presence in downtown Roanoke along with the Carilion Research Institute.

Virginia Tech will expand its footprint in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, in November when it opens its leadership coaching institute for the healthcare and life sciences industries.

The Healthcare Coaching Institute is a partnership of Virginia Tech’s Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement and the Pyramid Resource Group of Cary, North Carolina.

The institute opens at the same time a Health Science and Technology Innovation District is under development in Roanoke in partnership with Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech.

Darelyn "DJ" Mitsch, president of the Pyramid Resource Group, said, “Demand for leadership coaching within the life sciences is exploding. It’s a dynamic and challenging environment to work in, and many organizations recognize that they need coaches who can develop and support their leadership talent through the chaos of so many changes these days.”

Tasha Walsh, a director of integrated health services for a community health center, recently completed a Pyramid Resource Group course after looking to improve her coaching of "leaders who had strong egos and were faced with enormous system change,” Walsh said. “I now plan to expand my coaching practice to focus on helping new-era leaders engage the head, heart, and gut in discovering their own style of leadership.”

The 125-hour program coaching certification program will serve professional coaches and is approved by the International Coach Federation.

Leadership coaching is a $2.3 billion industry globally, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study that also found that 72 percent of managers and leaders who hire coaches expect coaches to be credentialed. Coaches with credentials earn more money than those without. 

“This is the first time we’ve offered something specifically related to healthcare and leadership coaching,” said Susan E. Short, associate vice president for engagement at Virginia Tech, part of Outreach and International Affairs. “Roanoke is a natural setting for the institute. We’re an easy connection for folks.”

The institute will offer in-person intensive sessions at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center along with instructor-led online courses. Participants are expected to be drawn from hospitals, provider networks, insurance companies, and entities related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields.

The institute is presented through Virginia Tech's Continuing and Professional Education, which provides professional training beyond the university’s traditional degree-based offerings. Potential participants can find more information on the program’s website.

Written by Dana Cruikshank.

Contact: