Gov. Inslee signs WSU medical school legislation - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gov. Inslee signs WSU medical school legislation

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee today signed into law a bill that gives Washington State University the authority to create an independently accredited medical school in Spokane. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee today signed into law a bill that gives Washington State University the authority to create an independently accredited medical school in Spokane.
SPOKANE, Wash. - Accompanied by Washington State University President Elson Floyd and Representative Marcus Riccelli, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law on Wednesday which now gives Washington State University the authority to create an independently accredited medical school in Spokane. 


The bill amends the nearly 98-year-old state statue that gave exclusive rights to provide medical education to the University of Washington. 


“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more people are now covered by health care,” Inslee said. “It's not just that more people are covered – there are also more people in our state. We have depended on doctors trained in other states to come to Washington to practice. Yet the needs of our rural and underserved communities are not being met. In some areas, shortages are great.


“We have a growing need that isn't being met by today's medical education system, so the passage of this bill is a huge first step in addressing the physician shortage we see in rural and underserved communities,” said Riccelli.


Working with Riccelli, an identical bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Michael Baumgartner and a bipartisan group of 17 colleagues.


“A new WSU medical school will help produce the doctors we need and will be an engine of economic growth creating thousands of jobs,” said Baumgartner.


WSU has asked lawmakers for $2.5 million during the next two years to begin the accreditation process that could last as long as two year. Once that accreditation is granted, WSU can begin recruiting and accepting students. They are hoping to admit the first WSU College of Medicine class in 2017. 




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