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WMU begins medical school accreditation process

March 18, 2010

KALAMAZOO--The national accreditation process is now under way for a new medical school proposed by Western Michigan University and its two community hospital partners, Bronson Health Care and Borgess Health.

A formal letter of intent has been filed with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which is the accrediting body for medical schools operating in the United States. WMU now appears on the LCME accreditation Web site as one of the "institutions with developing medical education programs that have applied for preliminary accreditation by the LCME." WMU is one of seven institutions listed with "applicant school" status.

To earn applicant school status, an institution must pay a $25,000 application fee to the LCME to begin the process of applying for preliminary accreditation; and the LCME and its Canadian counterpart must determine that the school meets the basic eligibility requirements to apply for accreditation. As schools progress through the accreditation process and successfully meet LCME requirements, they move first to "candidate status" and finally to "preliminary accreditation status, at which time student recruitment can begin.

A school of medicine in Kalamazoo has been under discussion and in the planning stage since late 2007. The primary partners in the initiative are WMU and Kalamazoo's two world-class teaching hospitals--Borgess and Bronson.

During a November 2009 meeting, the WMU Board of Trustees endorsed the steps taken to date and voiced its support for the proposal for a privately funded medical school. During that meeting, WMU President John M. Dunn announced a $1.8 million anonymous gift made to provide seed money for the next steps in the development process, including the LCME accreditation application and the search for a founding dean for the school. The dean search was launched last month.

In January, representatives of Borgess, Bronson and WMU traveled to Chicago for the initial meeting with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to begin the accreditation process.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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Western Michigan University
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