Written by The Business Journal Staff
Clovis-based California Health Sciences University has announced plans to open a College of Osteopathic Medicine, possibly as soon as fall 2019.
The medical school would be the first of its kind in the Central Valley.
“Ever since we founded CHSU in 2012, we’ve been actively planning to open a medical school,” said Florence Dunn, CHSU president. “With the rapid growth in 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, 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. Today, about 12 percent of doctors are osteopathic physicians and nearly 1 in 3 medical students are attending an osteopathic medical school. Osteopathic physicians tend to work in underserved areas, and enter primary care practices such as family and internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics.
Administrative offices for the medical school will temporarily be located at 65 N. Clovis Avenue, in a new 9,000 square-foot 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 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 a founding dean.