Troy Heidesch

Troy Heidesch appointed director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing

Dec 14, 2020
Ben McDade

Troy Heidesch is the newly appointed director of Brenau University’s Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, having served the past seven months as interim director.

Heidesch is no stranger to Brenau as he earned both his Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Family Nurse Practitioner at the university. He later received a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the Medical College of Georgia.

He began his higher education career in 2011 teaching nursing students at Augusta University and later that year teaching part-time in the Family Nursing Practitioner program at Brenau.

“My career has been made possible because of my Brenau education in nursing,” said Heidesch, who also serves as an associate professor of nursing. “It’s an honor to be given the stewardship of this school. I look forward to working with and advocating for my colleagues and students and taking the next steps to building research opportunities that will further prepare future generations of nurse professionals for this challenging and rewarding field.”

During his time at Brenau, Heidesch has been highly engaged in the life of the university, including serving on the school’s graduate and academic councils, as graduate committee chair and on the leadership team of the Ivester College of Health Sciences. He also has served as the Richards Endowed Graduate Chair for the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing for the past six years.

“Dr. Heidesch distinguished himself while serving as the interim director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing,” said Jim Eck, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “He has worked to develop a more efficient governing structure within the school, led the program through a comprehensive program review, and expanded both undergraduate and graduate programs, even during the current pandemic. Dr. Heidesch has a positive and innovative approach to leadership, and he has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues both within the school and throughout the university.”

Securing needed funding for his school is also a major emphasis for Heidesch. He is active in pursuing grant support for the nursing school through state, federal and private foundation sources. Nursing students benefit from scholarship support provided by corporations such as the CVS Healthcare Foundation and Ethicon.

“Dr. Heidesch is Brenau’s lead on a recently funded grant from the Human Resources and Services Administration to provide financial support for nurses pursuing graduate degrees in nursing,” said Matt Thomas, vice president of external relations. “The goal of this program is to encourage nurses to pursue careers as nursing educators and address the growing shortage of nurses in North Georgia.”

Other grant-related efforts that Heidesch has supported include a National Institutes of Health grant to Brenau’s library to develop learning modules designed to guide nurses in their library research. The nursing school is currently pursuing several grant opportunities related to health workforce development and community outreach. These grant applications propose the expansion of partnerships between the university and regional health care providers and nonprofit organizations to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in nursing and psychology.

Heidesch currently is a member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and serves on the Finance, Capital Development and Marketing Committee as its chair and on its newly formed National Telehealth Committee. In 2018, he was chosen to be a fellow through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Wharton Business School Executive Leadership Program. He is a certified family nurse practitioner and has worked in family practice and emergency departments since 2000.

Heidesch is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on nurse entrepreneurism, telehealth and advanced practice. He currently is writing a book on telehealth for Springer Publishing.

“Dr. Heidesch’s promotion to director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing brings to a close his appointment as the interim director and reflects his hard work and vision for the school,” said Gale Hansen Starich, dean of both the Sidney O. Smith Jr. Graduate School and the Ivester College of Health Sciences. “Dr. Heidesch has proven to be a calm and resolute leader as the school successfully renewed an important accreditation and built a new degree program. We on the Ivester College Leadership Team have enjoyed and respected his subtle humor, so needed in 2020, and his entrepreneurial spirit that encourages us all to continue to learn and grow.”