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Idaho State University

Idaho’s first medical school hosts ribbon cutting, celebrates partnership with ISU

September 6, 2018

MERIDIAN, Idaho —Several hundred people gathered on the Idaho State University-Meridian campus Sept. 5 to tour the new Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and listen to remarks from educators, community leaders and founders of the state’s first medical school.

Idaho’s first medical school hosts ribbon cutting, celebrates partnership with ISU

 “ICOM has made a commitment to provide the best and most modern medical education in the nation,” said Dr. Robert Hasty, founding dean and chief academic officer. “We designed Idaho’s first medical school to meet the needs of the physician of the future.”

Other speakers included ISU President Kevin Satterlee, former ISU President Arthur Vailas, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd and Daniel Burrell, ICOM founder and trustee.

Satterlee said the ISU-ICOM partnership will enable the state to produce “the next generation of doctors who will be will be taking care of us. This is truly a historic occasion and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Vailas, who helped forge the ICOM partnership before he retired in June, recalled the empty parking lot where the new ICOM building now stands. “Look what has happened… This speaks volumes to the commitment of the people of Idaho” and their desire to tackle the state’s shortage of primary care physicians, he said.

The ICOM building stands three stories high and covers 94,000 square feet on the east end of the ISU-Meridian campus. It’s positioned around a large open courtyard with outdoor seating and fountains. Interior and exterior colors complement ISU’s iconic black and orange.

Construction of the privately funded $34 million facility began in spring 2017 and was completed this summer in time to welcome ICOM’s inaugural class of 162 medical students. Four of the students are recent graduates of ISU.

“Our goal is to attract the best and brightest students, and we’re delighted with our first class,” said Dr. Tracy Farnsworth, ICOM founding president.

The facility houses more than 12,000 feet of classroom space, including two lecture halls, each

with 250 seats; a state-of-the-art clinical simulation center; a 3,500 square-foot medical library; and a 3,479-square-foot Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) Lab. Additionally, 12 Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) rooms will be located on the second floor — the largest OSCE suite in Idaho.

 “We couldn’t be more pleased with our 40-year commitment to partner with ISU,” Hasty

said. “This fine university has been a pleasure to work with, and we are proud that our medical school will complement ISU’s already highly competitive and vastly growing medical programs.”

In 2016—with approval from the Idaho State Board of Education and support from Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter—ISU and ICOM signed a long-term affiliation agreement which allows ICOM to lease land on the ISU-Meridian campus and use university laboratory space. ICOM, which has its own governing board, operates independently of ISU.

ICOM leaders say their mission is to train osteopathic physicians in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Students will spend the first two years of their medical education on campus and their third and fourth years in clinical rotations at affiliated hospital systems throughout the five target states. Currently, ICOM has established partnerships with more than 35 hospital and health systems in the region.

The medical school is working to develop and expand residency programs throughout the five-state region and intends to invest $5 million over the next 10 years to develop new residency programs, according to school leaders.

“As Idaho’s first medical school, ICOM is committed to supporting graduate medical

education,” Hasty said. “Idaho currently ranks 49th in the nation for both the number of physicians and resident physicians per capita. Our partnerships with area health systems will have a lasting impact on health care in the region.”

In 2016—with approval from the Idaho State Board of Education and support from Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter—ISU and ICOM signed a long-term affiliation agreement which allows ICOM to lease land on the ISU-Meridian campus and use university laboratory space. ICOM, which has its own governing board, operates independently of ISU.