Gov. Abbott, UT System Break Ground on School of Medicine

Facility will house East Texas’ first School of Medicine, UT System’s 7th medical school

 

TYLER, Texas (January 23, 2022) –Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined UT System leaders today to break ground on UT Tyler’s new Medical Education Building, which will house the university’s new School of Medicine and the 7th medical school within the UT System. Gov. Abbott, UT System Chairman Kevin Eltife, UT System Chancellor James Milliken and UT Tyler President Kirk Calhoun joined hundreds of community members to mark the start of the $308 million project, expected to be completed in March 2025.

 

“As East Texas continues to grow, so does its need for more highly skilled and well-trained healthcare professionals,” said Governor Abbott. “I am proud to be here today at UT Tyler Medical School’s historic groundbreaking as we celebrate the achievements and progress Texas has made to expand healthcare access and educational opportunities across our state. Creating this school was a priority in the 87th Legislative Session, and I thank members of the legislature, President Calhoun, and Chairman Eltife for their hard work to ensure this important legislation reached my desk. Together, we are fostering greater health outcomes for the people of East Texas and empowering the next generation of doctors, nurses, and medical staff to serve all Texans.”

 

The Medical Education Building, a planned five-story, nearly 248,000-square-foot facility, will be constructed on roughly five acres in the heart of Tyler’s medical district in Midtown. It will support interdisciplinary education for graduate medical students, resident training, and nursing as part of a medical education program expansion throughout the UT Health East Texas Health System. It will include classrooms, simulation labs, clinical and operating room training spaces, and multipurpose event and lecture spaces for the UT Tyler School of Medicine and graduate medical education programs.

 

“Today is another great day for East Texas as we see tangible steps forward in our longtime efforts to enhance health care access and quality in the region by training new professionals,” said Kevin P. Eltife, chairman of the UT Board of Regents. “This building will launch UT’s first medical school in East Texas, which stands to serve and care for this community for generations to come.”

 

With a planned skybridge connection to the UT Health East Texas Hospital, the new medical school will enable hands-on learning of residents in the adjacent hospitals.  It will provide outpatient and specialty clinical services with exam rooms, specimen collection and processing, and imaging facilities as well as blended programming and clinical spaces for patient care. Other medical disciplines and services will include women’s imaging, women’s health, diagnostics, orthopedics, sports medicine, pulmonary care, and a surgery center to support medical residents in the graduate medical education programs.

 

“It’s no secret that as Texas and especially East Texas continue to grow and thrive, we will need many more doctors and other health care professionals,” said James B. Milliken, chancellor of the UT System.  “We’re grateful that our state and university leaders are taking the steps necessary to address this need.   As a result of their commitment, the UT System and UT Tyler will deliver the outstanding education and patient care that all East Texans deserve.”

 

“This is an enormous milestone for UT Tyler and for all of East Texas,” said President Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP. “We are excited to take the next step in creating a physical home for the School of Medicine, and on behalf of UT Tyler, I want to thank the UT System and the East Texas community for the continued support of our health care education advancements.”

 

The UT Tyler School of Medicine will be the first in northeast Texas, offering aspiring doctors a chance to train and practice without leaving the region, a critical part of addressing the ongoing physician shortage and lack of health care access in the region. Capital projects funded over the next decade, including the new Medical Education Building, will ensure the new medical school has the environment and tools required to draw and retain exceptional medical school faculty and students and enhance biomedical research and core residency programs.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) granted the School of Medicine its preliminary accreditation, and the first class will enroll in July 2023 and learn at UT Tyler’s north campus until the Medical Education Building opens in 2025.

 

The UT Tyler School of Medicine has received unprecedented community support from the beginning. Some of the financial support that makes construction of this facility possible includes:

 

  • $80 million from the East Texas Medical Center Foundation
  • A $100 million bond over the next 10 years from the UT Board of Regents
  • $10 million from the Robert M. Rogers Foundation to support mental and behavioral health education at the new medical school.
  • $4 million from the R.W. Fair Foundation to fully fund the first class of UT Tyler medical students, followed by a $5 million gift for pathways programs and scholarships to cover tuition of the second class.

 

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