Tower Health eyes academic medical center designation: 6 things to know

With the ultimate goal of becoming an academic medical center, West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health, in partnership with Philadelphia-based Drexel University, plans to construct a four-year medical school in Berks County, Pa., according to the Reading Eagle.

Here are six things to know.

1. Drexel University officials approached Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health, about placing third- and fourth- year medical students at Tower Health's Reading Hospital for clinical training in spring 2017. Mr. Mathews was not interested, because he wanted to go bigger. He envisioned becoming an academic medical center.

2. "We've had academia and teaching as part of our mission," Mr. Matthews told the Reading Eagle. "This is greatly expanding upon that."

3. Since the discussion in 2017, Tower Health and Drexel University have been working to develop a four-year branch campus of the Drexel University College of Medicine.

4. Drexel University College of Medicine, which has an enrolment of about 1,000 medical students, places its students in other hospitals across the state. However, it is now seeking a deeper partnership with Tower Health.

5. The two organizations are still looking for an exact location for the medical school, but they noted it will be near the Tower Health's West Reading campus.

6. The medical school proposal, which must gain regulatory approval, calls for enrolling about 200 medical students for the 2020-21 academic year.

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