PARKER, Colo. — Colorado-based Rocky Vista University will soon become Utah’s second medical school, admitting its first class of 125 students in the summer of 2017. The announcement was made by Clinton E. Adams, DO, RVU’s president and chief executive officer, Jan. 14 at What’s Up Down South — Southern Utah’s Economic Summit held at the Dixie Center.
RVU has selected Ivins for its new location. The school will be located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Center Street and 200 East on a 30-acre parcel of land at the base of the Big Red Mountain.
Construction for the 107,000 square-foot building housing the medical school is scheduled to begin in March. The university has also acquired the Snow Canyon Clinic to use as administrative offices and for future clinical practice. The clinic will be used to interview prospective medical students starting in September.
RVU is a designated Military Friendly School. Students attending RVU College of Osteopathic Medicine—Southern Utah will benefit by working with veterans at the Southern Utah Veterans Home located on the adjacent property. Every student will be assigned to a veteran to follow over the four years they are in medical school.
“Southern Utah is the logical choice for a new medical school,” said Thomas N. Told, DO, dean and chief academic officer of RVUCOM and native Utahan who grew up in Southern Utah. “Nearly 400 students leave Utah every year to attend medical school. Students have a tendency to stay and establish their medical practice in the state where they receive their training.”
RVU already has an established agreement with the Utah Rural Health Scholars Program at Dixie State University and Southern Utah University, where highly qualified students receive an early acceptance to RVUCOM. Future students accepted into this program will be able to pursue their medical education in their home state.
The university plans on expanding the pipeline program to pre-med students at DSU, SUU and other colleges and universities within the state.
The impact to the region and the state is significant. In addition to the 125 medical students per year that will come to Ivins, the university will hire approximately 35 full-time professional educators (physicians and PhDs) and 47 administrative staff.
Rocky Vista University is dedicated to achieving new heights in medical education.
“My motivation for investing our time and talent in Southern Utah is two-fold,” Adams said. “The privilege and opportunity to partner with the academic community and the many healthcare facilities located there; and to create a pathway for the next generation of physicians who matriculate from Utah universities, train at RVUCOM-SU, seek residencies, then continue to practice in Utah. RVU has always focused on the Mountain West states as this region is historically underserved and in need of talented physicians who will provide quality primary care. With RVU’s innovative curriculum and strong values, we can fulfill this need. Our graduates will enhance the health of the communities they touch, always remembering that the patient entrusted to them is someone’s mother, brother, sister or spouse because, as Dr. Francis Peabody reminds us, ‘The secret of the care of the patient is caring for the patient.’”