By Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane
SPOKANE, Wash. – Avista Corp. has contributed $25,000 to the Dr. Elson S. Floyd Medical Education Founders Fund to honor the memory of the late Washington State University president’s vision and courage.
“On June 20, our region and, indeed, our country lost a person who so many acclaimed as being one of vision, tenacity and having the ability to bring people together,” said Scott L. Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Avista, who presented the gift to WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown earlier this month.
Floyd passed away a short time after the Washington Legislature agreed to establish a fully accredited medical school in Spokane.
Brown noted that Avista’s commitment to the WSU Spokane campus has been significant: “Their support of the health sciences through Scott’s role as a co-chair with President Floyd of the Academic Health Science Center steering committee of Greater Spokane Incorporated was just one of the many ways Avista has partnered with our campus. This gift represents a continued commitment and is greatly appreciated.”
“Elson had a vision for WSU, not just in Pullman but across the state,” Morris said. “Specifically in Spokane, it was Elson who said he was going to create WSU Spokane’s Academic Health Center, and he made that vision a reality by moving the College of Pharmacy to Spokane, creating more research opportunities and of course creating a new medical school for WSU. Spokane now has an incredible opportunity because of that vision.”
More than $661,620 has been contributed to the Dr. Elson S. Floyd Medical Education Founders Fund by 720 individuals and corporate partners. All contributions to the fund support the accreditation, implementation and operation of WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
The university plans to submit its “self study” to the national Liaison Committee for Medical Education in November (the study is a required activity of medical school accreditation in which invited participants learn about and provide feedback to the new medical school) and gain preliminary accreditation in summer 2016. The charter class is scheduled to begin in fall 2017.