Nov. 20, 2012

On Friday, November 16, 2012, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) Board of Trustees authorized MCW’s leadership to begin contract negotiations for program site locations in the Green Bay and Central Wisconsin regions for MCW’s community-based medical education programs.

In both regions, MCW identified facilities at multiple locations for classrooms and offices, learning laboratories, clinical simulation centers, student services and support, interprofessional training, clinical experiences and physician residency training programs. The medical education programs in both regions would partner with and engage physicians and faculty members from area colleges and universities and health systems.

“Outstanding site options exist in both regions,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW. “We are very grateful for the high level of interest, innovation, and thoughtfulness that went into the creation of the various options in the Central Wisconsin and Green Bay regions. Truly, we were presented with many outstanding options. Preferred sites have been identified in both regions and we will begin the negotiation process. If need be, we have the flexibility to develop our programs at other superior site locations.”

Dr. Raymond noted, “We have determined that the strongest approach in both Central Wisconsin and Green Bay is to have components of the programs at several locations.”

Site plans may be adapted or expanded based on the size and quality of the student applicant pool, curriculum design, budget, community needs, and opportunities for interprofessional training.

Concept papers for specific siting options were submitted by community leaders and institutions in both regions. A facility review team from MCW conducted preliminary site surveys at each proposed site and developed budget specifications that included anticipated costs for construction, equipment and technology at each site.

In addition, MCW’s senior leaders identified the top sites in each region based on cost, branding, community support and long-term growth opportunities. Student and faculty amenities were evaluated during site visits by MCW students, resident physicians, and faculty members.

Green Bay Region

MCW will begin negotiations with St. Norbert College in DePere to share space in St. Norbert’s planned new science building for the medical education program’s classrooms, offices, and learning laboratories. It is anticipated that Green Bay area medical students also would have access to student services and support (health service, counseling, library, etc.) at St. Norbert.

Negotiations will be conducted to locate a clinical simulation center at Bellin College in Green Bay. Future plans include the development of interprofessional training programs for MCW’s medical students and Bellin College’s health professional programs.

MCW plans to work with its academic partners in the Green Bay region (University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, St. Norbert College and Bellin College) and possibly other academic institutions to identify science faculty members for the medical education program. Physician faculty members would be from Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Bellin Health, and Hospital Sisters Health System – Northeast Division/Prevea Health (St. Vincent Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital). Physicians from other health systems in the region may also be engaged in the medical education program.

The Green Bay area’s three major health systems and the VA Outpatient Clinic would be the sites for both medical school clinical training as well as resident physician training. Clinical training may be expanded to other sites in the region.

MCW would work with faculty at UW-Green Bay, St. Norbert, Bellin College and possibly other academic institutions to create medical school pipeline programs for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in medicine.

Central Wisconsin

It is planned that MCW’s community-based medical education program in Central Wisconsin would have components offered in Marshfield, Stevens Point, Wausau and possibly other Central Wisconsin communities such as Wisconsin Rapids.

Negotiations will be conducted to locate classrooms and offices at the Liberty Mutual Building #1 in Wausau. The facility also provides space for the development of future interprofessional health sciences training programs.

Student services and support would be located at both the Liberty Mutual Building #1 and at the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County in Wausau.

MCW will negotiate with Northcentral Technical College in Wausau for space designated for medical student learning laboratories and the clinical simulation center.

Opportunities for interprofessional training would be explored with the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s physician assistant training program offered at UW - Marathon County, Marshfield Clinic’s proposed School of Dentistry, and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Science faculty members would be identified from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin – Marathon County, University of Wisconsin – Marshfield/Wood County, and Northcentral Technical College. Clinical faculty members would be physicians from Aspirus, Ministry Health Care, and Marshfield Clinic. Faculty members and physicians from other academic institutions and health systems in Central Wisconsin, including Riverview Hospital Association, may also be engaged in teaching.

Medical students would receive their clinical education at Aspirus, Ministry Health Care, and Marshfield Clinic, as well as other potential health care providers in the region. Central Wisconsin health systems also would develop physician residency training positions.

Pipeline programs to prepare undergraduate students for medical school would be developed with UW – Stevens Point, UW – Marathon County, UW – Marshfield/Wood County, Northcentral Technical College, and possibly other academic institutions.

Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, MCW’s dean of the medical school and executive vice president, said, “MCW is developing community advisory boards in both Central Wisconsin and Green Bay to assist with the development and implementation of the local medical education programs. The community advisory boards also will advise me in the selection of a community campus dean in both regions.” Volunteers to the community advisory boards will represent healthcare and educational affiliates of the program, as well as representatives from the broader community including physician leaders, business, education institutions, government entities and/or civic organizations.

The estimated cost to develop medical education programs in both regions is approximately $11-12 million per region. MCW’s community-based medical education programs in both Central Wisconsin and Green Bay are targeted to open in July 2015, pending completion of required milestones: curriculum development, accreditation, funding, governance structure, faculty recruitment and development, creation of additional residency training positions, and formalization of agreements with local health systems and academic institutions.

In the first year, enrollment at both campuses will target 15 students with class sizes increasing to at least 25 students in subsequent years. An immersive medical education model is planned; students would complete their entire required medical education coursework in either Central Wisconsin or Green Bay. Opportunities will exist for elective coursework that can be taken at other medical school campuses.

The Medical College of Wisconsin’s expansion into Green Bay and Central Wisconsin is in response to projections of a significant physician shortage in Wisconsin over the next 20 years. Extensive studies by the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health project serious shortages, particularly in primary care and in rural and urban underserved areas.

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