The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is proposing expanding its medical school building to meet the demand for health care workers in the region.
The Boonshoft School of Medicine’s plans to grow its enrollment over the next five years and increase the number of physicians graduating into the Dayton-area workforce depend on having more space to teach, Valerie Weber, dean of the school, said in an funding application request to the Dayton Region Priority Development and Advocacy Committee.
The total cost for the project is estimated to be $2.5 million. In the request, the Wright State school requested $1.25 million in funding and says it plans to put up the rest.
Weber wrote in the application that the region has a tremendous need for doctors and prefers to admit students to the school who are from either Ohio or the Miami Valley. In 2021, the school said its entering class consisted of 85% of students from Ohio and 32% of students from the Miami Valley.
That makes it more likely the students will stay in the long term, the school said.
This summer, the school accepted 132 students, up from 120 the year before, due to the growing need for physicians. Over the next five years, the number of accepted students will expand to 150, the school said.
“The health care needs in the Miami Valley are tremendous,” Weber wrote in the application.
She noted that the average life expectancy is lower in the region than the national index by as much as two years, and the rate of both chronic diseases and infant mortality are higher than the national average.
About 50% of physicians who graduate from Wright State stay in Ohio, Wright State said, and 25% remain in the Miami Valley.
“By creating physicians to serve our region, the impact on the health of our community will be long-lasting,” Weber said.
Deborah Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s Hospital; the Montgomery County Medical Society; Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health; Terry Burns, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Kettering Health; and the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association all wrote letters to PDAC representatives in support of the project. The Greene County commissioners and state Rep. Brian Lampton also wrote letters in support of the project.
“Well-trained, quality physicians are critical to their mission and service to the community.” said Sarah Hackenbracht, president & CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, in her letter. “As such, we view WSU-BSOM as an integral component to educating our future healthcare workforce and ensuring we have the resources necessary to support the region’s healthcare delivery system.”
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