President Tom Kunkel shares his excitement about the Medical College partnership at a press conference following the announcement.
Medical College of Wisconsin looks to share space on campus
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is to begin negotiations to share space in St. Norbert’s planned new science building – a location that will serve as the base for a new Green Bay area physician-training program.
The medical college is working with St. Norbert to house its classrooms, offices and learning laboratories in the new building, with the expectation that the medical education program will admit its first 15 students in July 2015. Class sizes will increase to at least 25 students in subsequent years.
President Tom Kunkel says: “This arrangement will be unique in many, many ways. We are literally not aware of another college of our size or type that has a medical college campus at its location.”
The medical school students will have access to student services at St. Norbert as well as the new Michels Commons and the Mulva Library.
New opportunities for the St. Norbert community
Kunkel sees the partnership with MCW as bringing further beneficial impact, particularly in conjunction with the new science building: “Having a medical college here is going to be hugely attractive to smart young people interested in the sciences – especially those who are considering the health fields.
“It’s going to create a ton of opportunities for our faculty. There’s going to be the strong possibility of collaborations with their counterparts at the medical college for research opportunities. There are going to be teaching opportunities. There probably will be research opportunities for our students. We’re really hopeful that a certain number of spots might be guaranteed for our students who are pre-med, who meet the qualifications.
“For us, we just see opportunities. We also think, frankly, that the future of higher education in general is about more and more collaborative opportunities. This is a great example.”
The new science-education facility planned for campus will allow St. Norbert faculty and undergraduates, as well as the MCW program, to work on the leading edge of science and mathematics. Some $21 million of the anticipated $41 million cost of constructing and equipping the new building has already been raised.
Medical care for the regional community
The Medical College of Wisconsin’s expansion into Green Bay, and into a second new program location in Wausau, Wis., is in response to projections of a significant physician shortage in the state over the next 20 years. Extensive studies by the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health point to serious shortages, particularly in primary care and in rural and urban underserved areas.
An immersive medical education model is planned; students would complete their entire required medical education coursework in either the Green Bay or Wausau area. Opportunities will exist for elective coursework at other medical school campuses.
A medical education embedded in the local community
The new St. Norbert-based program will be embedded throughout the Green Bay community. MCW is seeking to utilize the clinical simulation center at Bellin College in Green Bay. Future plans include the development of inter-professional training programs for MCW’s medical students and Bellin College’s student health professionals.
The medical education program will partner with and engage physicians and faculty members from area colleges, universities and health systems.
MCW plans to work with its academic partners in the Green Bay region – St. Norbert, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Bellin College – and possibly other academic institutions to identify science faculty members for the medical education program. Physician faculty members will be drawn from Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Bellin Health, and Hospital Sisters Health System-Northeast Division/Prevea Health (St. Vincent Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital). Physicians from other health systems in the region may also be engaged in the medical education program. The Green Bay area’s three major health systems and the VA outpatient clinic would provide sites for both medical school clinical training and resident physician training. Clinical training may be expanded to other sites in the region. MCW will work with faculty at St. Norbert, UW-Green Bay, Bellin College and possibly other academic institutions to create medical school pipeline programs for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in medicine.