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Marist College, Health Quest to create medical school

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A rendering of the proposed school building on left on the Vassar Brothers Medical Center campus in Poughkeepsie.

Marist College and Health Quest have come together in a unique collaboration to create the Marist Health Quest School of Medicine that will place an emphasis on technology enabled education.

The school administration and classrooms would be situated on the Vassar Brothers Medical Center campus, about a mile south of the college in Poughkeepsie. Plans call for a  building of approximately 100,000 square feet to be constructed, according to a statement from the college. Pending state and city approvals, the building would be built in three years “in time to seat the first class in the summer of 2022.”

According to a fact sheet supplied by the college, startup costs are placed at $184.8 million, with $75 million allotted for building and $110 million for operational costs.

Students would also take classes for some subjects on the Marist campus.

“The unique and collaborative partnership between Marist and Health Quest will push the boundaries of health care by focusing on where medicine is going – not where it’s been,” said Dr. Glenn Loomis, Health Quest’s chief medical operations officer and president of Health Quest Medical Practice. “Together, we’re creating a nationally recognized school of medicine to provide technology-enabled medical education.”

In May, Health Quest, a nonprofit health care system based in LaGrangeville, announced that Vassar Brothers Medical Center would become a teaching hospital. The graduate residency programs would also be available at the three other Health Quest hospitals – Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital Center and Sharon Hospital in Connecticut.

Health Quest has been on the grow. It is in the midst of building a 752,000-square-foot patient pavilion adjacent to the hospital. In March it announced plans to combine with Western Connecticut Health Network to form a new system that will expand to cover 1.5 million residents across the two states and include seven hospitals, 2,600 aligned physicians and more than 12,000 employees. The system is expected to debut in the first quarter of 2019

In announcing the new medical school on Wednesday, Marist College President David Yellen said: “This is a unique partnership of two very dynamic organizations that are perfectly aligned to bring a medical school to the region. Marist is a highly selective college with a strong reputation for academic excellence, a technology-driven approach to curriculum and an established commitment to allied health education through our physician assistant and doctor of physical therapy programs. Embarking on a medical school is a natural next step for the college.”

The closest medical school to Poughkeepsie is New York Medical College in Valhalla, about 50 miles to the south in Westchester County. 

The proposed school will have to seek approvals from the national accrediting body for medical education programs – the Liaison Committee on Medical Education– as well as the New York State Education Department and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Marist College Board of Trustees will oversee academic governance matters, while the Health Quest Board of Trustees will oversee matters related to clinical governance, according to a statement. Marist and Health Quest will also convene a Marist Health Quest School of Medicine Joint Board of Overseers to serve as the immediate oversight authority for all matters regarding operations, budget and strategic planning.

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