Proposed medical school breaks ground


Campus was abuzz on Tuesday as the proposed Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) at the University of Louisiana Monroe held its groundbreaking.
School and state leaders swarmed Heritage Park to witness the groundbreaking of the proposed medical school.
Should the school be accredited and built, ULM will join an elite group of universities with a VCOM medical school on its campus. There’s a school on Virginia Tech’s campus, one in Spartanburg, South Carolina serving various universities and another at Auburn. VCOM is a nonprofit, private four-year osteopathic medical school offering a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.
In order to reach the groundbreaking for the proposed medical school, three things had to happen. First, the Board of Regents would have to approve VCOM’s right to operate a medical school in Louisiana. Then, the Board of Supervisors needed to approve a land lease between ULM and VCOM and last a dean for the anticipated medical school had to be hired.
All things happened including Ray Morrison being announced as the dean of the anticipated medical school.
In attendance, Louisiana Governor John Edwards spoke to the crowd and thanked everyone for the opportunity of bringing a medical school to Northeast Louisiana.
“I’m excited about it, it’s somewhere $60-$77 million a year,” Edwards said.
Before leaving the podium, the governor took time to praise ULM’s president for being the best at running a university suffering from restrictions. After the governor spoke, ULM’s president took to the podium to address those in attendance.
Bruno went on to thank all those in attendance, and all the other people involved in being able to bring a medical school to ULM’s campus.
“Thanks everyone for making this dream come true, and God bless America, VCOM, Northeast Louisiana and ULM,” said Nick Bruno in his closing remarks at the groundbreaking event.
VCOM is still in the process of getting national accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). Without this accreditation, the school won’t be functional. The plan is for the anticipated school to be open for the class of fall 2020.