The following was written by Dr. George Novan, FACP, Associate Dean, WSU College of Medical Sciences, for the April issue of The Message, a publication printed monthly by the Spokane County Medical Society (SCMS). It is republished here with permission from both Dr. Novan and the SCMS.
It’s not often a person has a chance to be part of starting a new medical school. We at Washington State University have been picturing what we want to create with a new WSU College of Medicine.
Governor Jay Inslee visited campus yesterday for an afternoon celebration of the start of WSU’s new medical school to be located in Spokane.
“We are all Cougs today,” he said shortly after taking the stage in front of a crowd of about 200.
Inslee signed legislation this week allowing WSU to operate a medical school. As the legislature continues its budget negotiations, we should soon learn the amount of funding WSU will receive. Both budget proposals have included money for WSU’s new medical school.
Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation today that allows WSU to operate a medical school in Spokane. This is a great day for WSU, Spokane and the entire state. As the Governor was signing, the audience around him broke out into a nice rendition of the WSU fight song – a fitting way to celebrate.
The legislation – officially House Bill 1559 – changes a 1917 law that restricted medical education solely to the University of Washington.
It’s been a long road to this point. So what comes next?
House Democrats in the Washington Legislature released their budget proposal today, and it includes $8 million allocated to starting a WSU medical school on the WSU Spokane campus.
This is a good step forward in creating a WSU medical school to meet the needs of prospective students who want to go to medical school in Washington, and the rural and underserved areas.
It is just the first step in the budget process, and Republicans in the Senate are expected to release their budget proposal in the coming days. Then, the two sides will begin negotiations with the hope of finalizing a budget by April 26, the scheduled end of the legislative session. There is always, however, the possibility the legislature goes into a special session beyond April 26.