Founders of the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) unveiled an architectural rendering of the medical school building and marked the construction site with flags on Nov. 8 at the Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center.
Construction of the $32 million, privately funded building is scheduled to begin in 2017 near the east entrance of ISU-Meridian. ICOM will lease the land from ISU through an affiliation agreement signed this summer and approved by the State Board of Education.
ICOM's founding dean and chief academic officer, Dr. Robert Hasty, told an audience of state lawmakers, physicians, educators and civic leaders the project is on track.
“The flags being placed are symbolic of what will be home to Idaho's first medical school that will serve the state and region for generations to come,” Hasty said. “The meticulously thought-out planning that went into the design will help create a model for the medical school of the future and be a symbol of Idaho's future and an iconic building that we can all be proud of.”
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter joined Hasty and ISU President Arthur C. Vailas in placing 13-ft. (4 m) tall flags printed with ICOM and ISU logos along the perimeter of the proposed site.
“We're thrilled to partner with ICOM in establishing Idaho's first medical school. Our collaboration will not only enhance our existing health-science programs, but provide new research opportunities for our faculty, staff and students in Meridian and Pocatello,” Vailas said.
Otter, who announced the ICOM and ISU partnership last February, applauded the project's progress.
“While ICOM is located in Meridian, make no mistake about the reach or impact of this college on Idaho's statewide health care needs,” Otter said. “Not only population centers but also patients in smaller communities throughout Idaho will benefit from ICOM's contribution to easing the shortage of physicians in our rural areas. This is a statewide college for statewide needs.”
ICOM is currently seeking accreditation through the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and expects to admit its first 150 students in August 2018. The school will operate independently of ISU, but ISU will have representation on the school's board of trustees.
For more information, visit www.idahocom.org.