Proposed medical school picks site in Abingdon
- September 19, 2011
The proposed King School of Medicine & Health Sciences Center has found a home.
The medical school is slated to be built at the Stone Mill Business and Technology Park in Abingdon as a result of a financial and land commitment from Abingdon and Washington County worth $15 million.
On Friday, Abingdon agreed to provide $3.5 million and up to seven parcels of land totaling 36 acres at Stone Mill Park, which is valued at $4 million. Washington County’s Board of Supervisors also made a financial commitment of $7.5 million to the school., which affirms that the school will be built at Stone Mill Park and adjacent properties to the business park.
Bristol, Tenn.-based King College also a partnership with the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center to house a substantial portion of the medical education program.
In addition, King College said that it has secured the option on purchasing 15 additional acres of land from Highlands Union Bank located adjacent to Stone Mill Park to increase the medical school campus.
Abingdon Mayor Ed Morgan and Washington County Board Chair Dulcie Mumpower called the announcement “transformational” in its impact on the region’s health care and economy.
Virginia Highlands Community College and King College are discussing ways to enhance educational opportunities for VHCC students at both the Higher Education Center and at the King School of Medicine & Health Sciences Center.
According to independent medical education consulting firm Tripp Umbach, the Southern Highlands region of Central Appalachia has more than 40 medically underserved counties and communities and lags significantly behind the national average in access to health care, life expectancy, prevalence of diabetes and low birth weight. Tripp Umbach predicts that this region will continue to lose approximately 375 doctors per year due to the aging physician workforce.