Van Andel Institute Chairman David Van Andel said seven potential sites for the med school are under consideration.
For more than a year, a group of community leaders known as the “stakeholders,” along with more than 60 volunteers, have pondered the feasibility of establishing a medical school in
Tuesday the group announced it had compiled evidence that demonstrates the idea’s feasibility.
The stakeholder group is comprised of representatives of Grand Action,
Van Andel noted that the Deloitte report emphasized that medical schools “are powerful economic engines that represent the intellectual capital necessary to incubate new business ventures, particularly when focused on research.”
The stakeholder group, he said, wanted to build a medical school here to improve the health care options, economic activity and medical education in the West Michigan region, and to complement the research component of the VAI.
The stakeholders’ goal all along has been to create a financially self-sustaining, state-of-the art, four-year accredited medical school that would focus on medical programs in research and sub-specialty (highly specialized) clinical practice.
The past year’s efforts point to “the power of we,” said MSU President Lou Anna Simon.
“Over these months we’ve created a shared vision, we’ve had a shared assessment of our assets, and a shared sense of confidence in one another,” Simon said.
“We have a shared sense that this is right for MSU, all the partners, the state of
She said MSU’s
But advanced education into specialty and sub-specialty care has to be done in a research environment where people are doing cutting-edge work, and that’s where the Van Andel Institute comes in.
Having the research environment of the VAI already in place will give MSU’s third- and fourth-year med students a much more research-intensive environment, as well as experiences in specialty and sub-specialty care. According to plans, they will have a molecular-, genetic-, futuristic-focused program built on research.
Representatives from MSU and West Michigan co-chaired seven work groups of volunteers that concentrated on specific areas of development — commercialization, educational planning, project financing, fundraising, operations and facilities, and research and faculty plans. Collectively, the work groups came up with a conceptual framework for the medical school and potential collaborative opportunities with research, health care and educational institutions in the area.
Based on that framework, the stakeholders outlined a six-pronged vision for the med school:
- MSU and its
West Michiganpartners will establish five new “focused research” clusters so biomedical research can be translated more quickly into diagnosis and treatments. Research clusters will cover cancer, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and neurobiology.
- The medical school will be the cornerstone for the development of
West Michiganas a center for life sciences commercialization.
- The medical school will create an innovative molecular medicine curriculum with an integrated four-year basic science, clinical and research education that surpasses accreditation standards.
will become the center of molecular medicine research and education for the MSU College of Human Medicine and home to its dean’s office. Grand Rapids
- MSU West Michigan Medical School will have a substantial and distinct identity and physical presence here.
- The med school will be financially secure. Financial security will be built on substantial commitments from MSU and long-term contracts with
Van Andel said the next step is for MSU and its