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Founding dean of WSU medical school meets community leaders in Everett

JohnT

EVERETT, Wash. – Oct. 8, 2015 – The founding dean of Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine recently met with several dozen regional leaders at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett to gather input on the new medical school and its impact in this community.

“This is your medical school,” said Dr. John Tomkowiak, the medical school’s founding dean. “As a community-based medical school we partner with the community and our local affiliates to give our students the experience and training they need.”

The medical school will combine a traditional academic education with a community-based clinical model. For their third and fourth years of clinical work, students will be assigned to WSU campuses in Spokane, Everett, the Tri-Cities or Vancouver, with the opportunity to spend significant amounts of time in rural healthcare settings. The regional campuses will have their own deans and staff and rely on clinical faculty in those areas to teach students.

“One of the unique things about being in Everett is that there is an urban population, so it provides medical education professionals a lot of resources, but there are also needs and opportunities in the rural areas that surround Everett,” said WSU North Puget Sound at Everett dean Paul Pitre.

“We have an amazing opportunity here,” said Tomkowiak. “We know that the future of healthcare is collaborative, team-based care. We know that the future of healthcare is looking at populations and assessing their risks and trying to intervene in their health before they get sick. We know that’s a better way to take care of people, so we are going to build a medical school that teaches our students to be clinicians in that future.”

Tomkowiak most recently served as the dean of the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. In addition to this and his other administrative duties, he is a professor of psychiatry who holds a Masters of Organizational Leadership degree from Gonzaga University. He has experience helping medical schools in Florida, New York and Illinois achieve accreditation. He says helping WSU through the accreditation process will be his top priority.

The meeting in Everett signals that the accreditation process for the medical school is moving forward. College staff and administrators are finishing the first draft of the massive document they must submit to the accrediting agency (the Liaison Committee on Medical Education). That document addresses questions such as future funding and spending for the medical school, the curriculum that will be taught to students and the infrastructure in place to support them.

That document must be submitted to community scrutiny in the four cities where the university will assign medical students for clinical training (Spokane, Everett, Tri-Cities and Vancouver). Those in attendance were given copies of the college’s draft accreditation document and asked to review it over the next few weeks and send back their comments and suggestions.

To learn more about the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, visit the website at www.medicine.wsu.edu.

Contact: Randy Bolerjack