Campus town hall meeting will focus on School of Medicine

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KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's new School of Medicine will be the topic of a campuswide town hall meeting set for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom.

WMU President John M. Dunn and the medical school founding Dean Hal B. Jenson will lead the discussion and take questions from faculty, staff, students and other members of the campus community. The town hall is the first of what is expected to be a series of such meetings for WMU and its partners in the medical school, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare, as well as the Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, which will be merged into the medical school on July 1. Similar meetings are being scheduled at the other organizations.

"The School of Medicine has frequently been the topic of questions in other campus forums," says Bob Miller, who leads the school's communication committee. "The school is now at a point in which substantial progress is being made in a number of critical areas, and milestones are rapidly being met. We want to make sure our campus community has an opportunity to fully understand, engage and become well informed about an initiative that will transform our University and community."

WMU's new School of Medicine is a partnership involving the University and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess and Bronson. It has been in planning for four years, and fundraising, accreditation work and curriculum development for the school are well under way. Expected to welcome its first class in fall 2014, the school is a privately funded initiative housed at WMU. In March, WMU announced a foundational gift of $100 million for the medical school from anonymous donors.

Recent developments include the donation in December by MPI Research of a large pharmaceutical research facility in downtown Kalamazoo to become home to the school, the appointments of several to leadership positions in the school and the first faculty appointment, and the announcement earlier this month of the July 1 KCMS merger into the medical school.