When Elson Floyd envisioned a Washington State University medical school, he had big dreams.
He spoke about training more doctors in Washington to alleviate the state’s physician shortage and about using WSU’s stature as the state’s land-grant university to extend the new school’s influence into every county.
Nearly a year after his passing as the new school that now bears Floyd’s name is in the process of being created, the expectations are high. Prospective students are contacting the school to find out when they can apply. Several of Washington’s health care providers have signed agreements to teach WSU medical students in clinical rotations. And Founding Dean John Tomkowiak, M.D., is leading the effort to give the state’s newest publicly-funded medical school its own unique identity.
The City of Spokane and the Spokane Public Library Foundation today honored former WSU president Elson S. Floyd with first ever Spokane Citizen Impact Award. Going forward, the award will be named the Elson S. Floyd Impact Award and will be given each year to individuals who have made significant contributions to the region that may fall outside the scope of the Hall of Fame.
Hundreds of students, faculty and visitors filled a multi-purpose room on the WSU Spokane campus for the annual Inland Northwest Research Symposium last week. Health sciences students at WSU Spokane and EWU Spokane, as well as students from North Central High School’s Institute of Science and Technology, showcased their work.
Tomkowiak talks about why he was a good fit to be the inaugural dean, what advantages WSU Spokane already has when it comes to forming a medical school, how WSU’s medical school can compliment the UW-GU medical school, and more.
The pace has been brisk since the first public pronouncement in mid-2014 that WSU would be pursuing its own medical school. Now, with the first class anticipated to begin less than two years from now, the development process has accelerated.