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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Gov. Abbott recognizes College of Medicine at ceremonial bill signing


Gov. Greg Abbott was on campus Wednesday to sign HB 826, which officially recognizes the UH College of Medicine. | Derek Dziedzic/Coog TV

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday visited the University of Houston to recognize the College of Medicine and ceremonially signed House Bill 826, which establishes the medical school in state law.

“I want to make just two points.” Abbott said, who officially signed the bill back in May. “One is that exceptional achievements start with a vision. The vision that is propelled by persistent effort and that is exactly what brought us to this point here today with the University of Houston medical school.”

Along with the governor, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Mayor Sylvester Turner, UH President and System Chancellor Renu Khator, UH System Board of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta and College of Medicine Dean Dr. Stephen Spann were all in attendance to celebrate the recognition of the College of Medicine.

All that is left for the College of Medicine is to receive accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.  The college plans to finish the process with the LCME by 2020.

Once the college receives accreditation it will begin the process of allowing students to apply and accepting the school’s first class.

“We hope that by February we’ll receive our accreditation,” Spann said.

The goal of the new medical school is to provide care for underserved communities in Texas and around Houston. Spann said the aim is to have 50 percent of graduates to specialize in primary care.

“We’re going to take two communities, the Third Ward and the East End and really focus on improving the health of the population,” Spann said.

 

The University also released a timeline and renderings for the new College of Medicine building.  The building will be near MacGregor Park, close to the Health 2 building. The groundbreaking will be next spring, and the expected completion date is summer 2022.

The new College of Medicine will look similar to the Health 2 building, with white stone and glasses accent.

While the building is under construction the Health 2 building will serve as the home for the College of Medicine.

Since the beginning of serious talks about the new college, large donations have been pouring in by named and anonymous donors alike.  Two of which will pay for the entirety of students’ tuition.

Khator said the 43 acres of land that the new College of Medicine will be on was purchased in 2008, six months after she became president and chancellor.

“I go back to my notes, my journal and it says one day we might have the University of Houston College of Medicine,” Khator said.

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