Up & Coming Weekly

March 07, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1494232

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 8 - 14, 2023 UCW 9 Methodist University and Cape Fear Valley Health are partnering to open a four-year medi- cal school that will welcome students in July 2026. e Center for Medical Education and Neu- roscience at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center will house the new medical school with a focus on providing better medical care for rural and underserved populations and diversifying the physician workforce in the area, officials said Feb. 27 at a news conference to announce the initiative. Methodist University President Stanley T. Wearden said the partnership fits perfectly with the university's service-oriented mission and Cape Fear Valley Health's long-standing history of health care. "A medical school will be a tremendous asset to Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the region," said Wearden. He said Fayetteville is positioned to attract health care professionals in new areas of special- ization. "While we have many excellent health care professionals in this community, we nonethe- less have a shortage, which is a microcosm of a national shortage. ere's a tremendous need, and we are in the prime spot to meet it," said Wearden. Wearden said a national shortage of health care workers is predicted by 2034 and that to meet the need, 30 to 40 medical schools would need to open. "is partnership is a tremendous opportu- nity for our institution to engage with Cape Fear Valley Health to address the shortage of health care professionals, particularly in rural areas, and to improve the quality of health care deliv- ery, which will enrich the local community and beyond," said Wearden. In addition, he said, a new medical school will attract businesses, taxpayers and homebuyers to the region. "It will elevate the economic well-being of this region," said Wearden. He said a study commissioned by the hospital found that a new medical school could bring more than $750 million in economic impact to the community in the first 10 years. "If you add that to the $88.5 million annual economic impact that Methodist University already brings, that will be a powerful eco- nomic stimulus. We are the right partners," said Wearden. Cape Fear Valley CEO Michael Nagowski said the health system could not be prouder than to partner with Methodist University. Nagowski said the university educates nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and others who take jobs at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. With this partnership, that long-standing history will not only continue but expand. Nagowski said the medical school also is important to the wellness of the community, addressing the physician shortage and providing an economic engine to make the region a better place to live. "e data is very clear. Wherever there are aca- demic medical centers partnering with universi- ties, the overall health of the population contin- ues to improve," said Nagowski. "is will also make Cape Fear Valley a better hospital than it is today, whether it be with our 350 residents, our almost 120 students already completing their third- and fourth-year programs, and now a full-fledged four-year medical school right here in Fayetteville. We will provide an outstanding medical school." Nagowski recognized Dr. Rakesh Gupta as a link between the two organizations. Gupta is chairman of the Methodist University board of trustees and a former chairman of the Cape Fear Valley Hospital board. Gupta said the new medical school will be transformational. "is will be a change of trajectory for all stu- dents in all spheres of education at Methodist, for students who at large come to this commu- nity from all over the country. We will remember this day for a long time to come," said Gupta. "is will truly put us on the map." Several city and county elected officials at the news conference said they are excited about what this means to the community. City Councilwoman Kathy Jensen, who rep- resents the district in North Fayetteville that includes Methodist University, said she is ready to see green and gold — the university's colors — spread throughout the city. "It's going to be great to see green and gold not just on the north side of town but expanded. e regional collaboration is great for not just Methodist University but [a] transformation for our city and county," said Jensen. Cumberland County Commissioner Marshall Faircloth, who served as chairman of the medi- cal school subcommittee, said the plan is an economic boost. "is will be the game changer we have been looking for over the next seven to eight years as it builds out. It will have great implications for our future. In one of the communities I visited, when the medical school came in, the economy took off," said Faircloth. Dr. Hershey Bell, vice president of the medical education program at Cape Fear Valley Health, agreed. Bell said before the news conference that he has been working to get the pieces of the puzzle together and get the medical school ready for accreditation. "When a medical school comes to town, it transforms the community in a way that you can never go back to before and it's only for the bet- ter for everyone. Economically, for patient care, for the quality of education, it's an amazing way for us to make a statement to the people of this community that great things are coming," said Bell. e medical school hopes to enroll 80 students in the first class and expand to 120 students over time. Classes will begin in 2026 pending approv- al by the Liaison Committee on Medical Educa- tion and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. NEWS Methodist University, Cape Fear Health System to partner on new medical school by JAMI MCLAUGHLIN JAMI MCLAUGHLIN, CityView Today. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. Dr. Stanley T. Wearden, president of Methodist University (right) and Mike Nagowski, CEO of Cape Fear Valley Health, spoke at a press conference in the McLean Health Sciences Building at Methodist University to announce a partnership to open a new medical school. (Photo courtesy Methodist University Marketing & Communications)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - March 07, 2023