Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Earns Accreditation to Expand at Elmira College
Southern Tier campus will host additional site for Erie-based osteopathic medical college.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) has received approval to increase class size and offer courses at Elmira College in Elmira, New York. The announcement was made today by LECOM President John M. Ferretti, D.O. and Elmira College President Charles W. Lindsay, Ph.D.
LECOM has received formal notification that at a meeting in Chicago in late August, the Council on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association gave approval to the opening of an additional LECOM location at Elmira College. The Elmira campus joins LECOM campuses in Erie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and in Bradenton, Florida and the College expects to have the first Elmira medical students start in late July 2020 pending final approval by the New York Department of Education Board of Regents.
According to Dr. Ferretti, “LECOM is extending medical education to the Elmira College campus to attract students who will fill the need for physicians in the Southern Tier and Western New York.” Upstate New York has a large, rural underserved population with a critical shortage of physicians. Medical school graduates often continue their post-graduate training and establish residency in the same area in which they attend medical school. LECOM has seen many of its graduates stay and practice near its campuses in northwest and southwest Pennsylvania and southwest Florida.
The College opened in Erie in 1993 to train Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, added the Florida campus in 2004 and the Greensburg campus in 2009. In addition to the College of Osteopathic Medicine, LECOM operates a School of Pharmacy, School of Dental Medicine and School of Health Services Administration. LECOM has more than 4100 students and the Elmira College location will increase enrollment by more than 400 students in a few years.
Since 2012, LECOM has sent third-year and fourth-year students for clinical education at the Arnot Health System in Elmira and other surrounding hospitals in the Southern Tier. “Our relationship with the Elmira medical community and other affiliated hospitals in the region exposed LECOM students to quality training” said Richard Terry, D.O., MBA, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for LECOM at Elmira. “The affiliation demonstrated that LECOM could better serve the region by bringing all four years of medical education to Elmira.”
Elmira College is a private, coeducational, Phi Beta Kappa college offering 30-plus majors, an honors program, 17 academic societies, and 20 Division III varsity teams. Founded in 1855, it was the first college for women with a course of studies equal in vigor to the best men’s colleges of the time. Elmira College became coeducational in 1969. Elmira College is affiliated with LECOM through the Early Acceptance Program (EAP) where select Elmira undergraduate students will be granted provisional acceptance to LECOM when they matriculate at Elmira College. Successful EAP students will be admitted to LECOM upon graduating from Elmira College.
“We were pleased to learn of COCA’s approval for LECOM to build a medical school on the Elmira College campus,” said Dr. Lindsay, president of Elmira College. “We’ve worked closely with the LECOM team over the past couple of years to help bring this project to fruition. LECOM’s presence in Elmira has great benefits for the city, and for Elmira College and our students. A certain number of spots each year will be reserved for EC students who meet the LECOM requirements, and we anticipate this will assist EC in attracting more students interested in the health professions.”
LECOM expansion to Elmira has received enthusiastic support from Mayor Daniel J. Mandell, Chemung County Executive Thomas J. Santulli, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Representative Tom Reed and other state and congressional leaders.
“The news that LECOM has received approval to expand medical education to Elmira is just what the doctor ordered. A medical college means investment, more economic activity, and new physicians to help support the health needs of residents in the Southern Tier and Western New York, where the need is high and general practitioners are scarce,” said Senator Schumer. “I was pleased to fight on behalf of this important proposal, and am proud to have stood alongside officials from LECOM, Elmira College, Chemung County and the City Of Elmira, who have worked tirelessly to see this project across the finish line.”
“Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine opening a medical school at Elmira College is great news,” said Rep. Reed. “We were happy to provide critical support for this expansion at the federal level to guarantee our neighborhoods have the resources they need as our local hospitals are frequently passed over by students looking for medical school residencies. We care about this problem our local hospitals face and this state-of-the-art medical education facility will ensure hardworking people in our rural communities have increased fair access to health care.”
LECOM at Elmira College will use the highly successful Problem-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum developed at LECOM Erie and used exclusively at LECOM Bradenton and LECOM Seton Hill. PBL involves small groups of students working together on patient cases. Students develop learning objectives in basic science or clinical care needed to solve the patient case.
Faculty facilitators guide the students as they gain medical knowledge. The College will hire 17.5 full time equivalent faculty members to serve as PBL facilitators and instructors. Support for faculty staff salaries and benefits will approach $4 million annually.
LECOM will invest more than $20 million to construct a building on the Elmira College campus to accommodate the new medical school program. The two colleges plan an announcement about the building project in the near future.