Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine to open at New Mexico State University

KRWG-TV: Newsmakers

Published on Jul 25, 2014
Fred Martino speaks with NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers regarding plans to build a new private medical school on New Mexico State University land.

July 14, 2014 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center

Today, New Mexico State University, NMSU’s Arrowhead Center and the newly formed Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine announced a partnership to create the state’s newest medical school on the NMSU campus.

“This is an outstanding day for New Mexico,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “This public-private partnership will benefit the health and well-being of people across our state, and the region, by addressing our severe shortage of primary care physicians, especially among New Mexico’s underserved, rural populations.”

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University will be a freestanding, privately funded, separately licensed and independently operated entity. No taxpayer dollars will go toward its operation. BCOM’s initial capital investment in the project is approximately $85 million.

BCOM has already submitted its pre-accreditation application to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and will submit an application to New Mexico’s Higher Education Department, private schools division. BCOM’s goal is to admit its first class in August 2016.

“The development of a new medical school at NMSU provides a badly needed solution to the health care accessibility issues currently affecting New Mexico and the Borderplex Region,” said Dan Burrell, principal at Burrell Family Offices and chairman of BCOM.

Currently, 32 of New Mexico’s 33 counties are medically underserved or contain medically underserved populations, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services. BCOM will train physicians who can deliver culturally competent care in areas along the U.S./Mexico border region, in New Mexico’s rural communities and among the state’s Native American tribes, pueblos and nations.

“This also serves as a major economic driver for the region and the state through job creation and spending on goods and services that are produced in New Mexico,” Burrell said. “A project of this magnitude and importance to New Mexico’s economy and long-term health care needs could not have been possible without the strong leadership of President Carruthers and his team, as well as our local and regional hospital and physician partners.”

Over the past year, BCOM has successfully worked with local and regional hospitals and physicians to create new clinical training programs for the medical school’s students and graduates.

“Osteopathic medicine, with its emphasis on primary care and community-based medicine, offers an ideal strategy to address physician workforce and health care needs of the Borderplex,” said George Mychaskiw, chief academic officer and dean of BCOM. “Additionally, by facilitating the pathway of education, we hope to increase physician diversity and deliver more culturally competent care in the region.”

“I have long been impressed by the amount of medical and biomedical research, education and outreach performed by our outstanding faculty across NMSU and our community colleges,” Carruthers said. “This new partnership will serve to enhance those efforts, as well as our land-grant mission, as NMSU and BCOM plan to share faculty, research programs and various student-life services.”

As part of the agreement with the university, BCOM has agreed to a long-term land lease for its facility at NMSU’s Arrowhead Park. Construction on a new, 80,000-square-foot building to house the medical school will begin within the next year.

Additionally, BCOM has agreed to create a significant scholarship fund for NMSU students pursuing health care and health-related fields, with an emphasis on pre-medicine students. BCOM will also provide payment to NMSU for its students to participate and utilize the same campus services as NMSU students, such as campus housing, NMSU’s student activity center and admission to NMSU athletic events.

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