The home to the state’s first new medical school in 110 years officially opened on Tuesday, August 6 on the campus of Marian University. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences marked the occasion, and the 162 students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s inaugural class began their Orientation classes Wednesday, August 7.
Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard joined Michael A. Evans, founder and chairman of AIT Laboratories, as he cut the ribbon to officially open the facility which bears his name. Orientation for the inaugural class begins August 7, and classes begin August 12.
“There is a tremendous need for doctors in this state,” President Elsener said. “Marian University is fortunate that we are in a position to positively impact that situation. But to execute on our vision, we needed the help of community partners and we’re thankful that friends like Mike Evans, St. Vincent Health, Community Health Networks, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and others have joined us in this endeavor. Together, we are going to greatly improve healthcare in Indiana and beyond.”
Statistics indicate that Indiana needs approximately 5,000 additional doctors to serve its aging population. Most of that shortage comes in the area of primary care, especially in rural areas. The shortage in primary care physicians is due in part to the costs of operating a primary care practice, which has increased 56% since 2001. Fortunately, the percentage of osteopathic physicians who choose to practice primary care is much higher than that of their allopathic counterparts. Osteopathic physicians also practice in rural and underserved areas in larger numbers than their allopathic counterparts.
With 162 students in Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, the number of students studying medicine in Indiana increases by nearly 50 percent. Of those 162 students, more than half are Indiana residents who will qualify for $40,000 in scholarships funded by the Indiana General Assembly. To receive the scholarships, the students must remain in Indiana upon graduation and establish a primary care practice in a rural or underserved area of the state.
The Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine is the nation’s first osteopathic medical school at a Catholic university, and just the fifth medical school of any kind located at a Catholic university. Marian University believes that the university’s rich Franciscan heritage, coupled with the osteopathic approach to healing the “whole” person – body, mind and spirit – offers an educational alternative that can’t be found elsewhere.
The Michael A. Evans for Health Sciences is a 140,000 square foot facility located at the intersection of 30th Street and Cold Spring Road, on the southeast corner of the university’s campus. More than $50 million was spent on the construction of the facility. The project directly created 318 jobs, and an additional 185 jobs were indirectly created by the project. In total, the economic impact of this project to date is estimated at $57 million. By the time the first class graduates in 2017, it is estimated that the statewide economic impact will be in excess of $130 million.