WSU Spokane health sciences students

In our pursuit of a medical school headquartered in Spokane, we’ve talked about how the community-based model will send third- and fourth-year WSU medical students to locations across the state. It is a model that will introduce medical students to communities that are in need of physicians.

This won’t be entirely new territory for us, as some of our other health sciences programs already reach across Washington, offering students in other communities the chance to study close to home.

The Yakima Herald this week featured one student – Courtney Deats – who will soon begin her studies in the WSU College of Pharmacy. Instead of studying at the Spokane campus – where the College is headquartered – she will study at Pacific Northwest University (PNWU), thanks to a new partnership between us and PNWU. Deats recently graduated from Heritage University.

From the Herald:

“Before Heritage and before PNWU, there weren’t many areas of (medical) advancement” locally, [Deats] said. “Getting some medical programs such as the pharmacy school may motivate people. I think it will make it seem more achievable.”

Deats is an example of one student who now has the opportunity to enter the medical field and practice close to home.

The partnership with PNWU is new, but it bodes well for current K-12 students interested in a career in the health sciences. More from the Herald:

With the new pharmacy program, PNWU and its expansion plans, Heritage’s new bachelor of science in nursing program and nursing programs at Yakima Valley Community College offered by both the two-year college and WSU, opportunities to train locally in health professions have never been greater.

“There’s a really nice cohort of health sciences so the needs of the community can be met,” [College of Pharmacy director of student services Jennifer] Robinson said. “Students can stay in the area and be educated and serve the population. Before, they would have to grow up in Yakima and maybe not want to leave, or grow up in Yakima, go elsewhere and never come back.”

In similar fashion, the WSU College of Nursing is headquartered in Spokane but also offers opportunities to students to study nursing in the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla and Vancouver. The amount of WSU nursing alumni is so large, chances are your next trip to your health care provider may allow you to cross paths with WSU nursing alumni.

As the state’s land grand university, we strive to offer opportunities to students from all parts of Washington. With branch campuses and extension offices, WSU is able to be present all across the state:

WSU extension map

Screen shot, WSU homepage (click to enlarge)

The College of Pharmacy and College of Nursing are already extending their reach across the state. We plan to do the same with the College of Medicine, which will add to our work in creating educational opportunities for all Washingtonians.