Cleveland Clinic, Ohio University to Invest $49.1M into Northeast Ohio

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor The United States is facing a growing shortage of primary-care physicians, but the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio University are taking steps to alleviate the situation in Cleveland. They recently signed an affiliation agreement and plan to invest $49.1 million into Northeast Ohio to open a medical school campus at the [...]

The United States is facing a growing shortage of primary-care physicians, but the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio University are taking steps to alleviate the situation in Cleveland. They recently signed an affiliation agreement and plan to invest $49.1 million into Northeast Ohio to open a medical school campus at the clinic’s South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights. It will be an extension of Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Experts predict that within the next decade the nation will lose more than 45,000 primary-care physicians. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges Center for Workforce Studies, the 20 percent of Americans living in rural or inner-city primary-care health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) will be hit the hardest.

Athens-based Ohio University will invest $36 million in the new project. The funds will be used to renovate a building on South Pointe’s campus, as well as for additional institutional commitments for faculty, staff and operations to provide medical education. The Cleveland Clinic will commit $13.1 million to the project, to be used for renovations to the building, staff and operational support, as well as medical education support. South Pointe Hospital also received a $5 million grant from the Brentwood Foundation, a local non-profit dedicated to advancing osteopathic medicine, for the extension campus, as well as another $6 million committed to graduate medical education.

“This affiliation agreement is a powerful example of the importance of public-private collaborations to improve the quality of life for Ohio citizens and to create jobs within regions of the state,” Ohio University President Roderick McDavis said in a press release.

The new site will allow students to complete all four years of their undergraduate medical education in northeast Ohio, instead of completing the first two in Athens. If all goes well, the first class of 32 medical students is expected to begin in July 2015.

The new campus is expected to create more than 100 jobs and generate over $700,000 in tax revenues for state and local governments. When the first class graduates in 2019, the annual economic impact of the new campus is expected to be $19 million.

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