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NYIT, A-State Present Medical School Proposal, Plan Summit


JONESBORO, Ark. — Progress continues toward New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (NYITCOM) plans for an additional site on the campus of Arkansas State University.

Representatives of NYIT made their initial presentation to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) in Chicago on Sept. 6 in support of their application to establish an additional site in Jonesboro. NYITCOM will appear before the commission again on Dec. 6 and provide follow-up information.

“We look forward to continuing our preparation for the next visit with the COCA commissioners in December,” said Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., vice president of health sciences and medical affairs for NYIT.

Ross-Lee said most of the preparation work during the next three months would focus on graduate medical education (GME), which continues to be a top priority. A GME Summit, scheduled for Oct. 16 in Jonesboro, will bring together state and national healthcare leaders, hospital executives and practicing physicians. NYIT will also work with hospitals in the mid-South to apply for residency training programs, identify clerkship coordinators and make clinical adjunct faculty appointments.

“We look forward to hosting the GME Summit on campus and facilitating discussions on the critical need for expanded medical training opportunities,” said Dr. Tim Hudson, chancellor of A-State. “This is an important national issue with significant local implications for our health care community and the proposed medical school.”

Joining Ross-Lee in the NYIT presentation to COCA were Wolfgang Gilliar, D.O., dean of the NYIT COM; Abraham Jeger, D.O., associate dean of clinical education; and David Broder, D.O., associate dean of postgraduate education and CEO of the New York Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Education Consortium.

Testifying on behalf of NYITCOM were Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the ASU System; Dr. Jason Penry, vice chancellor for university advancement at A-State; and Shane Speights, D.O., past president of the Arkansas Osteopathic Medical Association and chief medical officer at St. Bernards Regional Medical Center in Jonesboro.

Also attending in support of the medical school plans were First District U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.; Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority; Veryl Hodges, D.O., a member of the Arkansas Medical Board; Peter Kinney, chief of staff for NYIT; Peter Ajluni, D.O., a member of the NYITCOM Advisory Board and former American Osteopathic Association president; and Jeff Hankins, vice president for strategic communications and economic development for the ASU System.

A video message to COCA included an endorsement from Gov. Mike Beebe.

“I was very proud of our team and our NYIT partners,” Welch said. “I’m particularly grateful to Congressman Crawford, Chairman Masingill and members of our steering committee for taking the time to join us in Chicago and offer their support, and to the governor for his endorsement. They share our enthusiasm for the transformative impact this medical school will have on the medically underserved Delta region and Arkansas State.”

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board on July 25 granted NYIT certification for an additional osteopathic medical school site on the campus of Arkansas State. Certification for three degrees — the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, the Master of Science in Medical/Health Care Simulation and the Master of Science in Neuromusculoskeletal Sciences — is contingent on NYIT obtaining regional and national accreditation.

The medical school has a projected startup cost of $10 million with a targeted opening date of August 2016. A-State will invest $4 million to renovate and furnish Wilson Hall, and NYIT will invest $6 million for startup operating funds and faculty in the first three years.

More information about the medical school plans, as well as previous news releases and a feasibility study by Tripp-Umbach, can be found at AState.edu/medicine.

Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board certification does not constitute an endorsement of any institution or program. Such certification merely indicates that certain criteria have been met as required under the rules and regulations implementing institutional and program certification as defined by Arkansas Code 6-61-301.