Cost undetermined as plans revealed for College of Medicine's Saginaw campus

Sara Winkler/Staff Photographer Dr. Ernest L. Yoder, Founding Dean of CMU's College of Medicine, is part of a team of faculty that will soon head up.the new medical building currently under construction Yoder anticipates the fresh start with the new building and has plans that focus mainly on accrediting the medical school and creating a fitting curriculum. Although Yoder has spent the past 30 years at different levels of medical study, he says being appointed as founding dean was a bit unexpected. "It was for me literally a dream come true." Yoder said.

Central Michigan University's College of Medicine unveiled preliminary designs for the Saginaw campus at an event on Thursday at the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.

Cost estimates for the project have not yet been determined, but will be released after designs are finalized later this month. Funding for the sites will come from CMU, fundraising through the College of Medicine, Saginaw-area health care partners, CMU Medical Education partners. Exact amounts from each will be set after costs are finalized.

"Costs have not yet been released because they have not yet been finalized and the college does not wish to announce an incorrect estimate," Ernie Yoder founding dean of CMED said. "Next week's schematic plans should provide a realistic estimate for the project."

The campus, which will consist of two buildings located at St. Mary's of Michigan-Saginaw and Covenant HealthCare hospitals, will be used for educational and clinical space for CMED students and staff already at each site.

"Each site will accommodate medical students and resident physicians," Yoder said.

While the sites will be primarily utilized by CMU's medical students, he said students from other schools will have the option to take electives there as well.

The new buildings and existing renovated space at each site will provide 120,000 to 130,000 square feet of space for the school.

The site at St. Mary's of Michigan-Saginaw will be used primarily for internal medicine. The site at Covenant Hospital will be used for emergency medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, general surgery, psychiatry and pediatrics.

Yoder said the facilities and existing space being renovated will also offer realistic medical care to the community, as each site for the school will be part of a working hospital.

"As a guideline from our accrediting agencies, it's a requirement for a medical school to provide that care," he said.

The accrediting agencies for the school are the Liaison Committee for Medical Education and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

"We hope to break ground at the sites in the fall of 2013," Yoder said. "It most likely will take 18 to 20 months after that to be fully up and running."

CMED students will spend their first two years of study at the Mount Pleasant campus. Years three and four will be spent in Saginaw. The inaugural class is expected to have 60 students.

"We're very proud that the new CMU health care facility design has the future in mind to not only fit today's medicine, but also tomorrow's innovations," said John R. Graham, president and CEO of St. Mary's of Michigan, in a press release.


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