FIRST LOOK, BIG STEP
The UH College of Medicine Revealed, the University Moves Forward on the Road to Accreditation
Aug. 21, 2019 (HOUSTON) – Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
The architectural renderings of the new $80 million University of Houston College of Medicine building were revealed Wednesday, Aug. 21, as the ink dried on a ceremonial bill signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Boldly modern, the approximately 150,000 square-foot facility will feature the signature limestone of the University and broad glass accents to foster an open and bright learning environment.
The four-story medical school building will include state-of-the-art classroom and meeting spaces, a robust anatomy suite, a full continuum-of-care simulation suite, and more. Located on a 43-acre tract of undeveloped land on campus, along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard across from MacGregor Park, the site provides convenient access for the community it will soon serve.
“This cutting-edge medical school building is not only vital to fulfilling our mission of innovating health care delivery, but it signifies our connection to the community and collaboration within the university,” said Dr. Stephen Spann, founding dean of the College of Medicine.
“Our college will serve as a destination for community engagement and hub of inter-professional education. It will be something the entire city of Houston can be proud of.”
“We’ve sent delegations to all the best schools of medicine across the country to try to see what fits us and our mission of serving the community.”
The governor officially signed HB826 into law in May, establishing the city of Houston’s first medical school in nearly a half-century. However, the ceremonial bill signing was the first time a Texas governor has signed a bill at the University. Attending the historic event were Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, UH System Regents, elected officials from local and state offices, University leadership and other dignitaries who shared their appreciation for the work that led to the establishment of the UH College of Medicine.
“By working so tirelessly to add this medical school to the platform of all the educational opportunities the University of Houston offers, without a doubt, Renu Khator and the university team have made UH a better university and elevated UH to among the very best in the United States,” Abbott said. “By focusing on the strategies that this medical center will provide to help our fellow Texans, you have also made the communities of Houston and Harris County, and the entire state of Texas a far better place.”
The Health 2 building currently serves as the temporary home to the UH College of Medicine, and the groundbreaking will begin next spring with an expected completion in summer 2022.
The University will pay for the building using institutional capital funds reserved for construction projects. Architectural design firms Page Southerland Page Inc. and SLAM are designing the building while Vaughn Construction will be the general contractor.
“We purchased this 43 acres of land in 2008, and I knew we would one day have a UH College of Medicine, and this vision has been in progress all that time,” Khator said. “We’ve sent delegations to all the best schools of medicine across the country to try to see what fits us and our mission of serving the community.”
The need for additional health care providers in the region is significant. Houston has grown by more than four million people since the last medical school was founded in 1972 and is facing a primary care physician shortage. Texas ranks 47th in the country in primary care physician-to-population ratio. The mission of the new College of Medicine is to address this shortage in urban and rural areas by manning the front lines of community health with highly-trained champions of preventive care.
The medical school plans to admit its first class of 30 students in its inaugural class, pending accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The University submitted its application to the LCME in March and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the University’s medical doctor degree last fall.
UH College of Medicine Timeline
- UH System Board of Regents approves establishment of the UH College of Medicine.
- UH initiates Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) application
- Anonymous donor gives $3 million to provide $100,000 scholarships to entire first class of medical students
- Medical degree is approved by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- UH System Board of Regents approves plan to build 150,000 square-foot building
- Application is submitted to the LCME for accreditation
- Federally Qualified Health Center opens at UH; medical school faculty provide primary care services to community
- Prospectus is submitted to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Legislature approve $20 million in start-up costs and recognize the UH College of Medicine in state statute
- HCA Houston Healthcare and UH College of Medicine Consortium establish residence program to bring 389 new resident positions to Houston
- Begin design on new College of Medicine building
ANTICIPATED FUTURE TIMELINE
- LCME preliminary accreditation awarded
- Break ground on UH College of Medicine building
- Admit first class, contingent on LCME accreditation
To learn more about the UH College of Medicine, visit http://www.uh.edu/medicine/
A communication by the University of Houston Division of University Marketing, Communication and Media Relations.
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