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Fundraising goal met for second-year medical education

Lisa Brown, WSU Spokane chancellor


SPOKANE, Wash. – WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown announced Wednesday that a private fundraising drive to cover some of the costs of a new second-year medical education program in Spokane has reached its $2.3 million goal.

Brown made her announcement during a joint appearance with University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) Dean Paul Ramsey at the Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) annual meeting at the Convention Center.

In 2011, the UWSOM and WSU announced plans for a two-year pilot to test a new method of delivering the second-year curriculum. Ramsey and then-WSU Provost Warwick Bayly told Spokane business leaders they would need to commit $2.3 million to cover much of the cost of that.

Spokane medical education donors:

  • Empire Health Foundation
  • Avista Corporation
  • William H. Cowles Foundation
  • Providence Health Care
  • Washington Trust Bank
  • Sterling Savings
  • Rosauers Supermarket Inc.
  • Inland Northwest Health Services
  • Kalispel Tribe
  • J. P. Morgan Chase Foundation
  • Spokane Teachers Credit Union
  • Asuris Northwest Health
  • Group Health
  • Bank of America

The Empire Health Foundation gave the first $850,000 and a GSI committee led by local leaders Marty Dickinson and Tom Quigley began canvassing the area’s largest corporations for the remaining $1.45 million. During the next 18 months, they secured donations from at least 14 companies and foundations (complete list below).

“This would not be possible without the long-time leadership of Rich Hadley from GSI,” Brown said. She also credited Avista CEO Scott Morris, who co-chaired the local medical education steering committee with WSU President Elson S. Floyd.

Nineteen medical students, including 15 who studied in Spokane last year and chose to return for the second year, have started their studies this fall. They’re learning in a small-group, case- and discussion-based model adopted by other medical schools around the country. It’s different than the large class lecture format used primarily for classes in Seattle.

Brown and Ramsey also announced Wednesday their intention to increase medical education enrollments in Spokane to as high as 80 students per class by the end of this decade.

The addition of the second-year program means a medical student can start and finish her training in Spokane without having to leave.

It also means that WSU’s health sciences campus, which includes medical education, continues to have an overwhelmingly positive effect on the regional economy.

“An outside consultant has verified that we’ve already seen substantial economic impact from medical education growth on the WSU Spokane campus,” Hadley said.

That consultant, Tripp Umbach, estimates the annual impact of WSU’s health sciences campus, including the medical education program, at $350 million.

About WSU Spokane

WSU Spokane is Washington State University’s urban health sciences campus. Located in the heart of the University District near downtown Spokane, WSU Spokane prepares the state’s future generations of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals, and houses world-class research that leads to healthier people and communities. Learn more about WSU’s growing health sciences campus at

About Greater Spokane Incorporated

Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region’s Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic and workforce development, public policy and small business.GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Airway Heights, Medical Lake and Newport, as well as the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. For more information, visit or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1 800 SPOKANE.


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