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WSU officials select medical school dean, faculty

Washington State University officials have selected a dean and hired more than 40 physicians and scientists to work in the university’s Spokane medical school, which will be named after the university’s late president, Elson Floyd.

The university recently announced that Spokane-based physicians have been hired to help develop the first two years of curriculum for medical students. WSU officials believe the program can win initial accreditation next year and begin accepting students in fall 2017.

On Friday, WSU’s regents voted to name the school after Floyd, who was instrumental in securing state support for the school in the months before his death June 20 from complications of colon cancer. It will be named the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

Ryan Durkin, board of regents chairwoman, told Floyd before he died that the regents planned to name the medical school in his honor, “and he was very grateful and humbled by the naming,” she said in a statement.

John Tomkowiak, of the Chicago Medical School, was chosen as the inaugural dean of the Spokane medical school. He will begin in early October.

In addition to serving as dean of the Chicago Medical School, Tomkowiak is president of the Rosalind Franklin University Health System and executive vice president for clinical affairs for Rosalind Franklin University.

A psychiatrist, Tomkowiak’s training will complement the behavioral health and addiction research already taking place at the Spokane branch campus, WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown said in a statement.

His experience also will be instrumental in forming the new psychiatry residency program that will be based in the Spokane Teaching Health Clinic, which will open soon. The goal of that program is to increase medical residency positions in Spokane, Brown said.

Over the course of his career, Tomkowiak has been involved with many successful accreditations with the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the primary accrediting body for medical schools in the United States, WSU officials said. He’s contributed to the success of four medical schools, they said, and was part of the team that created a new medical school at Florida State University.

The new faculty members include experts in more than a dozen medical fields, including neurologists and emergency room doctors. Additionally, 18 faculty members have received joint appointments and will teach medical students in addition to their current work.

Each course at the Spokane medical school will be taught by an interdisciplinary team of physicians and scientists, according to the university. Medical students will spend their first two years doing academic work in Spokane before they are assigned to clinical training at the university’s campuses in Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Everett.

 

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