Arizona State University to launch medical school as part of statewide effort to grow Arizona’s health care workforce

Arizona State University announced June 1 plans to create a new medical school as part of the Arizona Board of Regents AZ Healthy Tomorrow initiative aimed at shrinking the state’s growing health care workforce shortage.

The school will be called the School of Medicine & Advanced Medical Engineering. In addition to training future physicians, the college will also focus on medical engineering, biomedical science and life science research. The medical school will integrate clinical medicine, biomedical science and engineering, similar to how Texas A&M and the University of Illinois have opened a different style of medical school, according to ASU News.

“We are focusing our full energy and innovation on improving Arizona’s health outcomes,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “We must generate knowledge at a scale that will impact society.”

ASU also plans to launch the Arizona Health Observatory, a real-time early warning system that will help state leaders spot trends and make health-related decisions on real-time data and information; a School of Public Health Technology; and the ASU Medical Masters Institute. These programs will all be housed under ASU Health, a “learning health ecosystem” to focus its health-related efforts.

“We must generate knowledge at a scale that will impact society. Our university charter drives us to assume fundamental responsibility for the overall health of the communities we serve,” Crow said. “This is an extension of that core belief.”

The new medical school will support both research and academic programs through clinical partnerships, and will expand its research relationship with the Mayo Clinic.

The new medical school is expected to be located in the greater Phoenix metro area, according to reports.

The Phoenix Bioscience Core is currently home to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. It is also home to ASU’s College of Health Solutions and Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, as well as NAU’s College of Health and Human Services.

AZ Healthy Tomorrow

The AZ Healthy Tomorrow initiative from the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs ASU, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona, is designed at addressing Arizona’s growing health care worker shortage. Through $30 million in funding, Healthy Tomorrow will “rapidly grow the health care workforce, while accelerating our leadership in bioscience, life science and research,” ABOR Chair-elect Fred DuVal said in the Arizona Republic. He added that the Phoenix Bioscience Core, will continue to grow with new investments and strategies for collaboration, leading to new health care startups and economic growth.

Each university will have its own focus under AZ Healthy Tomorrow. The University of Arizona will forge the College of Medicine – Tucson and the Banner University Medical Center into a fully integrated academic medical center. Northern Arizona University, which operates its College of Health and Human Services on the PBC, will provide its plan under the initiative in the fall.

“There is not a moment to waste as Arizona must train and deploy the health care professionals our fast-growing population requires,” DuVal said in a statement. “AZ Healthy Tomorrow is about bettering the lives of Arizonans and Arizona families by improving access to health care and lowering costs.”

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