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Chancellor Lisa Brown Talks About a Medical School at Rural Health Conference

Rural Health Conference Spokane

Rural Health Conference Spokane

The Northwest Regional Rural Health Conference is in Spokane this week, giving rural health providers and others the chance to share information, tips, strategies and more.

WSU Spokane is a sponsor of the event, and Chancellor Lisa Brown spoke to about 50 attendees during one session on the need for a second public medical school in Washington and WSU’s plans to pursue one.

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Washington Senate Approves Medical School Bill

WSU Medical School
WSU Medical School
Photo credit: Sean Airhart, NBBJ

 

The morning after a late-night approval from the House, the Washington Senate approved its medical school bill by a vote of 45-4.

The action by the House and Senate changed a 1917 law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington. The two chambers will now decide which bill to move to Governor Inslee for his signature.

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Washington House of Representatives Passes Medical School Bill

WSU Medical School

WSU Medical School

The Washington House of Representatives passed its version of the medical school bill tonight.

The bill would allow WSU to operate a medical school on its Spokane campus (it also allows WSU to operate a forestry program, as Rep. Ed Orcutt deftly pointed out).

So what’s the next step? The Senate still needs to vote on its version of the bill. The bill would also need approval from Governor Inslee.

The bill simply changes a 1917 law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington. WSU is also asking for $2.5 million in startup funds to work through the accreditation process. Those budget discussions will come at a later date.

The legislature is scheduled to end its session on April 26.

Medical School Bill Gets Another Hearing

WSU Medical School

WSU Medical School

The House Appropriations Committee last night heard testimony on House Bill 1559, which would allow WSU to operate a medical school.

Like many previous hearings, the discussion revolved around funding – this was the House budget committee, after all – and the ongoing talks between WSU and UW to figure out how the ending of the WWAMI partnership will work our financially.

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One Medical School Bill Advances, Another to be Heard

WSU Medical School

WSU Medical School

As the legislative session moves along in Olympia, the state of two medical school bills in the House and Senate continues to be monitored.

So here’s an update:

In the Senate, SB 5487 advanced through the Ways & Means Committee last night. The bill now moves to the Rules Committee.

In the House, HB 1559 is scheduled for a hearing this afternoon in the Appropriations Committee.

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Medical School Bills Land in Budget Committees

WSU Spokane Medical School

WSU Spokane Medical School

Today, Senate Bill 5487 – commonly known as the medical school bill – is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, the committee that tackles budget issues related to legislative bills. The medical school bill in the House – House Bill 1559 – has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee. A hearing for that bill is yet to be determined.

A story in The Spokesman-Review today called these events a “detour,” and that’s indeed what this is – not a roadblock, not a setback. Just a detour.

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WSU Medical School Bills Pass First Test in Olympia

Washington State Capitol

Washington State Capitol

House Bill 1559 and Senate Bill 5487 – both of which would allow WSU to operate a medical school at WSU Spokane – both passed their respective committees today.

Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) sponsored the bill in the House, while Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

There is still a lot of road ahead, and the process is ongoing, but today’s actions were positive steps for our university.

To learn more about WSU’s pursuit of a medical school, visit medicine.wsu.edu.

Washington Senate Higher Education Committee Hears Medical School Bill

WSU Spokane Medical School

WSU Spokane Medical School

The Senate Higher Education Committee held a hearing today to discuss Senate Bill 5487, which would allow WSU to operate a medical school on our campus.

UPDATE: Video from the hearing can be viewed here.

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