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Temporary locations for School of Medicine identified

March 3, 2011

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KALAMAZOO--The founding dean and some initial staff members of the Western Michigan University School of Medicine will operate out of office space at the Bronson Upjohn Building, 301 John St., beginning in May.

According to Dr. Jack Luderer, interim dean of the medical school, that decision and a number of others involving temporary locations for the new school have been made by a communitywide facilities committee charged with looking at the short- and long-term needs of the new entity.

Dr. Hal Jenson, who was recently appointed the founding dean, will have office space on the third floor of the Bronson Upjohn building sometime early in May. Since he is arriving in late March, he will temporarily occupy an office in the Innovation Center at the Business Technology and Research Park on WMU's Parkview Campus. This is in the same suite currently occupied by Luderer and Sherrill Busboom. They will both be moving to the John Street location as well.

In addition, a small number of "walk up" offices will be used in the University Medical and Health Sciences Building at 1000 Oakland Drive. The building houses the Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies and WMU's Unified Clinics. Having offices at that site will help facilitate interactions and a close working relationship between Jenson, his staff and KCMS as well as with the clinical activities of various WMU programs. These "walk up" offices will allow individuals with primary offices elsewhere to have a base while they spend time in the KCMS/Unified Clinics facility on medical school activities.

According to Luderer, no decision defining the necessary space to enroll the first class or the location(s) for that space has been made. All options continue to be actively investigated and assessed by the facilities committee. There is no precise timeline for when a final decision will be made.

Luderer says the facilities committee has put in a great deal of effort and is providing sound counsel on a number of issues. They conducted a careful analysis of the initial space needs for the School of Medicine and presented three different options to the School of Medicine Steering and Visioning Committee for review before the Bronson location was selected. The term "initial space needs" is defined to only encompass offices for the dean and his initial staff and does not include any educational or research space.

The committee is also in the process of launching a task force to assess issues related to a simulation center.

"We know that simulation is an important component of undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education," Luderer says. "It has emerged as a critical aspect of our facilities discussions. We also know that the needs for a simulation center can extend beyond the medical school itself, and we know that our region already has considerable expertise in simulation. The question now is, 'What is the best and most cost-efficient way going forward for the region to provide the highest quality simulation services in the context of a school of medicine?' The Simulation Center Task Force will help us evaluate this issue."

The Medical School Facilities Committee is chaired by WMU's David Dakin and includes Eric Buzzell of Borgess Health, Peter Strazdas of WMU, John Raswthorne of Borgess and Mike Way of Bronson Healthcare.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400