May 4, 2017
Contact: Ysabel Bilbao
Pre-Accreditation Granted to Idaho’s First Medical School
Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine will be breaking ground soon
MERIDIAN, IDAHO – The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) has awarded the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) its pre-accreditation status. This is the school’s most recent step in preparation to open its doors in August of 2018.
“This is a monumental day for Idaho's first medical school. ICOM will be a game changer and make an incredible impact on the health of the region for generations to come. Idahoans will be proud of their first medical school,” said Dr. Robert Hasty, ICOM founding dean and chief academic officer.
Pre-accreditation is a critical step in the accreditation process, which included the submission of a feasibility study, an onsite inspection, a public comment period, and multiple in-person testimonials to the accreditation committee. Additionally, ICOM was required to deposit more than $37 million in escrow and operating reserves.
“The process of securing pre-accreditation is rigorous and challenging—and certainly represents a major milestone in our efforts to date. We are absolutely committed to opening Idaho’s first college of medicine and are grateful to our healthcare partners and other stakeholders from around the state and region who support our efforts and understand the tremendous need for more physicians in Idaho and beyond” said Tracy Farnsworth, ICOM President.
The mission of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine is to train osteopathic physicians prepared for caring for persons in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and beyond.
Idaho is ranked 49th for the number of physicians per capita and 50th for lack of primary care physicians per capita in the nation. Idaho is the most populous state without a medical school, and ICOM plans to change those statistics with an estimated 50% of ICOM students expected to become primary care physicians. Idahoans will have priority admission to the program and students will be encouraged to serve residents in rural communities.
“I’m grateful for the progress that’s being made and I look forward to ICOM’s full accreditation so Idaho can start producing homegrown physicians to meet the demands of our growing population,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “This is an enterprise that holds great promise for helping improve health-care accessibility and affordability for all our citizens. I applaud everyone who is working hard to make ICOM a reality.”
Affiliations with 22 hospitals, medical centers and health care organizations have been secured for ICOM students to start rotations in 2020. More than $5 million has been allocated for the development of residency programs in the first 10 years.
The cost of building a modern, high-performance, state-of-the-art facility in Meridian is estimated to cost upwards of $34 million, all privately funded, and the state of Idaho is expected to gain financially with an economic impact of more than $500 million in the first ten years of full operation.
“This is an exciting announcement for the City of Meridian, the State of Idaho and local students who will now, for the first time, be able to achieve their medical aspirations right here at home. In addition to filling a critical need for medical education, ICOM will expand the focus in our health science and technology corridor, known as The CORE, and will bring more family wage jobs closer to where people live. This is a huge win for the Treasure Valley,” said Mayor Tammy de Weerd, City of Meridian.
ICOM has partnered with Idaho State University and this incredible endeavor will have no burden on taxpayers. In addition, tuition costs will be lower than the average for private osteopathic or allopathic medical schools.
“Idaho is the epicenter for the developing critical physician shortage. In addition to giving opportunities for Idahoans to become physicians, ICOM will advance the public good and our graduates will improve the lives of so many,” Dr. Hasty.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for Idaho's first medical school will take place on May 17. Details are being finalized and will be released soon.
About the Proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
The proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) will be a freestanding, privately funded, separately licensed and independently operated entity located at Idaho State University’s Health Science Center in Meridian. As part of the collaboration and affiliation agreement with ISU, ICOM has agreed to a long-term land lease for its facility at ISU’s Meridian Health Science Center. While in pre-accreditation status, ICOM cannot solicit nor accept applications from students until provisional accreditation is achieved.