Osteopathic med school selects Montana site

Rocky Vista University, a for-profit osteopathic school, plans to build a four-year medical school in Billings, Mont., officials said Feb. 22.

The proposed 135,000-square-foot medical school would be the first four-year medical school in Montana and Rocky Vista University's third campus in the Mountain West Region. It already has campuses in Parker, Colo., and Ivins, Utah.

In the proposal plans, the medical school would open in 2023, with 80 students taking classes, according to the Billings Gazette. The number of students would then grow to more than 100 the next year.

David Park, DO, who has held leadership roles with the Rocky Vista, would serve as the vice president and founding dean of the proposed Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

And he said Rocky Vista has been in talks with Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare and RiverStone Health, all based in Billings, about possible partnerships, the Gazette reported. 

In a statement shared with Becker's Hospital Review Feb. 23, Toni Green-Cheatwood, DO, chief medical officer of Billings Clinic, expressed excitement about the project but said the health system's focus is "to ensure that we fully engage our medical staff to determine what level of commitment can be made to future training."

"We take every opportunity for advancing education seriously and will work diligently to explore how we may be able to add value to this effort," Dr. Green-Cheatwood said.

The proposed medical school must still be approved by Rocky Vista's accrediting institutions.

 

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