SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown issued this statement today in response to a University of Washington press release announcing plans for a “Next Generation WWAMI” medical education expansion in Spokane:
“We welcome the University of Washington’s interest in addressing how best to meet the critical need for more primary care in our region.
“In fact, President Floyd and I met with UW President Michael Young and UW School of Medicine Dean Paul Ramsey on March 12 to share our plans to study how to best expand medical education in Spokane. We discussed the need for the WWAMI model to evolve because the state has fallen further behind in addressing the shortage of primary care physicians.
“The Spokane community has long recognized that the number of students admitted to the UW School of Medicine from our state (120 in 2013) is in the bottom five in the country in the availability of seats for our own students. Spokane’s health care and business community have aspired to capitalize on our excellent health care system and resources invested by the state legislature to provide full four-year medical education and health sciences research on campus.
“With our new Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building, the timing is right to have a statewide dialogue about the best structure for meeting medical education needs in the future.
“President Floyd and I will be sharing more about recent developments on campus and our plans for the future next week with editorial boards and key stakeholders. We anticipate the community involvement process to continue well beyond that.
“Citizens will be well served by combined efforts of the state’s two major research universities and our numerous community partners to put more emphasis on this long-standing issue.”
Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane communications, 509-358-7527, firstname.lastname@example.org