Two private meetings this summer brought top officials from the University of Washington and Washington State University close to a deal on “co-branding” a medical school in Spokane.
They talked about hiring faculty locally and making decisions about med school admissions in Spokane. About overhead dollars that would be spent here and research that would take place here.
They had even talked about drafting a contract at a planned third meeting, but it never took place.
The WSU officials involved, President Elson Floyd and board of regents Chairman Mike Worthy, asked that it be delayed, said Avista CEO Scott Morris, who also took part in the talks.
Morris recounted the meetings Tuesday for fellow members of a task force that the UW brought together this spring to consider the future of the school’s five-state medical education program called WWAMI, which stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
Worthy’s take was a little different. Also a member of the UW task force, he said, “I agree the two meetings we had… were productive. I don’t recall that we got quite as far down the path” as Morris described.
Either way, it was important to strike a deal before both schools released reports laying out their arguments for the future of medical education in Spokane, Morris said. People “become entrenched” around such reports, he said.
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