CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
Proposed CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
The proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine at California Health Sciences University is the first of its kind in the San Joaquin Valley.
A privately funded institution located in the city of Clovis, California Health Sciences University (CHSU) plans to open a College of Osteopathic Medicine as early as fall 2019, in addition to the university’s existing College of Pharmacy.
“Ever since we founded CHSU in 2012, we’ve been actively planning to open a medical school,” stated Florence Dunn, CHSU president. “With the rapid growth of our population and increasing disparity in health care access – and coupled with the success of our pharmacy program – we’ve decided to make the medical school an immediate priority. The Central Valley suffers from some of the most severe physician shortages in California and we are dedicated to improving the health and lives of the people of our community.”
The university has been granted applicant status from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), the only accrediting agency for predoctoral osteopathic medical education recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Currently, there are 48 colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in the United States, with two located in California.
“An osteopathic medical school is the most efficient way to address the critical health care shortages of the Central Valley. It is the most rapidly growing field of medical practice and is responding to the health care challenges of the new millennium,” stated Dunn.
Osteopathic physicians disproportionately work in underserved areas and tend to enter primary care practices, such as Family and Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Obstetrics, where the greatest physician shortages exist. Today, about 12 percent of doctors are osteopathic physicians and nearly 1 in 3 medical students are attending an osteopathic medical school.
Douglas Wood, DO, PhD, FACOI, has been appointed as Chief Academic Officer and Founding Dean of the planned CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Wood comes to CHSU from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean. He was previously appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at A.T. Still University, where he first served as Founding Dean of the A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. Prior to that he served as Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University in East Lansing, then Lead Dean for their Neuroscience Program and subsequently their W.K. Kellogg Community/University Partnership program.
Dr. Wood has over 50 years of medical and professional experience, much of which has been spent working in academic leadership.
“Dr. Wood is one of the most respected and experienced leaders in Osteopathic Medical education with a focus on leading innovation in health care and education,” says Florence Dunn, President at CHSU. “He shares our vision for training physicians with a focus on family medicine and primary care with a desire to serve the Central Valley, especially those in rural and underserved areas.”
Administrative offices for the medical school will temporarily be located at 65 N. Clovis Avenue, in their new 9,000 s.f. building currently under construction on the University’s temporary campus.
CHSU’s permanent campus site is located on four parcels of land totaling 60 acres near Temperance Avenue and Highway 168, just north of Clovis Community Medical Center, providing plenty of space for decades of expansion.
The design and architecture for up to 10 colleges in CHSU’s master campus plan, starting with the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Pharmacy, have been in the works for the past 3 years.
The campus will include student housing, labs, classrooms, a student center, a library, and an auditorium, along with support buildings.
University officials are formalizing plans now to assemble the osteopathic medical school’s leadership team, including a board of trustees and founding dean.
We appreciate the overwhelming community support from local leaders in education, hospital administration, the medical profession, public officials, and the business community during the medical school exploratory process.
|“The Valley deserves access to higher education, jobs, and quality health care. Having a medical school here in the Valley is the absolute best opportunity for students in small towns and rural areas to become physicians and serve our people. This is a game changer for Hispanic/Latino students and the entire Valley!” |
– Prominent business and civic leader, Fred Ruiz, chairman emeritus and co-founder of Dinuba-based Ruiz Foods, previously served on the University of California Board of Regents.
|“Adventist Health recognizes the need for more physicians as we seek to care for the medical needs of the many people living in the valley. We are supportive of CHSU’s plans to expand access to physicians who have a desire to serve in rural communities through the establishment of a medical school. We look forward to opportunities to work with CHSU toward our common goal of providing excellent health care to those we serve,” |
– Wayne Ferch, President/CEO, Corporate Senior Vice President, Central Valley Region, Adventist Health.
|“The City of Clovis works hard to maintain a community where its residents can thrive and have an exceptional quality of life. Post-graduate education is a critical part of this effort and California Health Sciences University’s planned medical school will be an incredible asset for the community to build on. The school will provide critical high-value jobs and medical services for our region reinforcing Clovis as a great place for families to live and work.” |
– Nathan Magsig, Mayor of Clovis and Supervisor-Elect for County of Fresno Board of Supervisors.
|“The new medical school will be distinguished by its local recruitment mission. The existing UCSF-Fresno residency program supplies many excellent physicians to the Valley. But still, our region is medically underserved, especially in primary care. CHSU will play a special, much-needed role by specifically recruiting local students and giving them a close-to-home avenue to enter the medical profession.”|
– Tim Joslin, CEO at Community Medical Centers.
We expect our osteopathic medical school to complement the existing medical fellowship and residency programs provided by UCSF-Fresno and Community Medical Centers by attracting a higher number of local students into the field of medicine, said Dunn.
California Health Sciences University launched its College of Pharmacy in August 2014 when it matriculated over 70 students into the four year Doctor of Pharmacy program, which has a focus on training pharmacists to provide primary care to patients.
Wendy Duncan, PhD, was appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at CHSU in spring 2015 to lead the University’s osteopathic medical school launch and continued growth and expansion into other programs and colleges.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT APPLICANT STATUS
California Health Sciences University, College of Osteopathic Medicine has been granted applicant status with the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).
According to the Accreditation of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: COM Accreditation Standards and Procedures, August 2016 edition (posted at www.aoacoca.org), applicant status is defined as:
Applicant status is the initial step in seeking accreditation. This status is offered without rights or privileges of accreditation, and does not establish or imply recognition by the COCA. Applicant status is granted upon the formal request for evaluation submitted by the Chief Executive Officer of the applicant COM.
The Proposed CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is applying for accreditation and can not solicit nor accept applications for students until provisional accreditation is achieved.