SCRANTON, Pa., Jan. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the stroke of midnight, revelers who rang in the new year no doubt raised a toast to welcome 2017. We have an additional reason to celebrate: The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine became official at 12:01 a.m.
This significant and highly anticipated integration will benefit more than just our patients, students, faculty and employees. It will benefit the health of our entire community, both literal and financial.
It was the Brookings Institution that first suggested "eds and meds" could build and sustain vibrant, regional economies. Northeastern Pennsylvania – so rich in both – has started to see a renaissance through the expansion and growth of local colleges and universities paired with a solid assemblage of exceptional health care providers on the local, regional and national level. The celebrated introduction of The Commonwealth Medical College to the local landscape eight years ago cemented the "eds and meds" concept in one institution and instilled a deep sense of pride in the community.
From the very first graduating class, this young, spirited medical college has already begun producing strong graduates, many of whom grew up in this region and – as evidence suggests -- are more likely to stay here to practice medicine. These physicians of the future are the ones who will continue to provide high-quality, innovative care to our children, grandchildren and beyond.
We know the "eds and meds" formula is important to sustaining and growing the region, but even more crucial than serving as an economic engine, health care at its fundamental core means caring about the health and wellbeing of current and future constituents. And we when talk about the future of medicine, we need to talk precision medicine and the study of genomics. Geisinger right now is involved in one of the world's largest genomics studies of its kind, the MyCode Community Health Initiative.
Our vision for the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine includes a thriving School of Graduate Studies where new master's degree programs will train the next wave of genomic scientists. Additional degrees leveraging the health system's unique capabilities will include information technology and population health to prepare students for fascinating careers – some yet to be imagined -- across the vast spectrum of healthcare.
In fact, we believe we are co-creating the nation's first community-based medical school embedded in an integrated health system committed to population health. As a testament to that commitment, Geisinger has launched the Springboard Healthy Scranton project, bringing together national and community leaders from a wide array of industry and service areas to tackle the social determinants of health – which run the gamut from access to healthy foods to enrichment programs for disadvantaged children. Springboard Healthy Scranton has found a ready partner in the medical school. Not only are students already required to work on projects that address specific health needs of the community, the college itself maintains an impressive network of community partnerships, which we fully intend to nurture and maintain.
As we head into 2017, we at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine are already predicting the future. Any scientist eager to access the world's largest collection of bio genomic data will seek us out. Any student serious about learning how medicine will be practiced in the future will hope for a Geisinger Commonwealth acceptance letter. Any patient who once believed Philadelphia was the epicenter of advanced medicine will turn the car around and head back north on the turnpike. Perhaps most importantly, because our work is in, of and for the community, we believe together we will build stronger families and neighborhoods, making northeastern Pennsylvania not only richer in jobs and resources, but in health and wellbeing too. Happy new year!
- David T. Feinberg, M.D., MBA, president and CEO, Geisinger Health System
- Dr. Steven Scheinman, president and dean, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and chief academic officer and executive vice president at Geisinger Health System
CONTACT: Wendy Wilson
Office: 570-808-5813; Cell: 570-840-0878
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SOURCE Geisinger Health System