By Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane
SPOKANE, Wash. – WSU President Elson S. Floyd and WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown expressed appreciation to the Spokane City Council for its support of WSU’s plan for a medical school, which was announced at a news conference today.
Spokane City Council members included support for $2.5 million in state start-up funds to begin the accreditation process for a WSU medical school on the WSU Spokane campus as one of three top priorities in the council’s legislative agenda for 2015.
“Being among the top three state legislative priorities of the Spokane City Council means members understand that a fully accredited medical school at WSU Spokane will have a major economic impact on the city and the state and will help solve the doctor shortage problem our state currently faces,” Floyd said.
Brown added, “Inclusion on the list reflects an awareness of the tremendous potential for Spokane that having a medical school, and its research dollars, creates.”
On average, twice as many students leave the state to go to medical school as are accepted in the state’s one public medical school operated by the University of Washington. A WSU medical school in Spokane would expand the capacity of the State of Washington to train more medical students.
Councilman Jon Snyder said improving medical education in the State of Washington is a top priority for the city. “Washington is one of the few states that doesn’t have more than one medical school,” Snyder said. “We have invested so much as a community in the University District. A medical school is the logical next step.”
The council’s other top priorities are “Cleaner River Faster,” related to the Spokane River, and “Transportation,” related to completion of the North Spokane Corridor. The council is expected to vote on the entire legislative agenda, which includes several other priorities, including expansion of the UW’s WWAMI medical education program in Spokane, at its meeting Monday.
WSU will work with state legislators in upcoming months to secure the start-up funds. Once accreditation is achieved, a medical school could open as early as September 2017 since medical education facilities, faculty and administration are already on the WSU Spokane health sciences campus.
Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane Communications, email@example.com, 509-358-7527
Kathy Barnard, Executive Director University Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-335-8055