Poughkeepsie, NY — A pioneering collaboration between Marist College and Health Quest is designed to change the academic and healthcare landscape in the mid-Hudson Valley by training the next generation of physicians who are so crucial to the future of healthcare in the region.
The two organizations will partner to create the Marist Health Quest School of Medicine to provide physician education that transforms patient care and prepares new doctors for today’s technologically advanced healthcare environment.
The first class is expected to begin studies in 2022.
“Marist College and Health Quest are both pillars of the community with long histories in the Hudson Valley,” 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 School of Medicine will have significant positive economic and social benefits for the Hudson Valley and beyond,” Health Quest President and CEO Robert Friedberg said. “Upon graduation, many of these highly educated professionals and their families will remain here to be part of an academic medical center, which will strengthen the quality of healthcare in the area. This will also create high-paying jobs and provide local residents with greater access to top-quality healthcare professionals close to home.”
The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine will meet significant demand for physician education in both the national and regional marketplaces. According to a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. may fall more than 100,000 physicians short of its projected need by 2030. Closer to home, there are no MD-degree granting medical schools in New York State between Westchester County and Albany. The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine will address both of these needs.
“This region needs more doctors. The population is getting older and many of our existing primary care physicians and specialists are nearing retirement age,” said Greg Rakow, chairman of the Health Quest board of trustees. “The medical school will train a new generation of providers who will make this their home and workplace and pave the way for future generations.”
“I am delighted that Marist and Health Quest have joined together to start a medical school,” said Ross Mauri, chair of Marist’s board of trustees. “The medical school will have many benefits for our two institutions and, just as importantly, it will have a very positive impact on our region. As a Marist alumnus, I am very proud of how far we have come and that our future is so bright.”
With only 151 MD-granting schools of medicine in the U.S., Health Quest and Marist are set to join an exclusive academic, research and clinical community. After launching a medical school, other educational institutions have increased their ability to attract higher-caliber students and faculty, while being a part of an academic medical center has – for other health systems – served as a draw for more highly qualified physicians interested in the education and research opportunities such an affiliation provides.
The regional community will benefit as well. Due to the highly accomplished physician faculty attracted to academic medical centers, consumers looking to make healthcare decisions often remain in their market rather than traveling to larger cities. Above all, Health Quest will meet its social obligation to attract and train primary care and clinical specialists who are so crucial to the future of healthcare and patient well-being.
Technology-enabled medical education
Through the use of Marist’s advanced learning management systems and the addition of Artificial and Augmented Intelligence (AI), the traditional medical school model will be transformed, ultimately changing how medical students, faculty and patients experience healthcare.
“The unique and collaborative partnership between Marist and Health Quest will push the boundaries of healthcare 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.”
“Faculty for the new medical school will be recruited based on their interest and willingness to engage with advanced technology-enabled education,” said Geoff Brackett, executive vice president of Marist College. “Ultimately, we believe this will bring forth a generation of doctors with open approaches to treatment and that will, by extension, improve the way patients experience healthcare.”
The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine will work to create a teaching platform that will allow students to be trained by combining the computing power of AI with their own intuition and communication skills, creating more personalized and effective healthcare education.
“By improving how medical education is offered, we will also change how healthcare is delivered,” Loomis said.
A roadmap to the future of healthcare
The school administration and classroom space will be located on the Vassar Brothers Medical Center campus in Poughkeepsie. Plans call for a building of approximately 100,000 square feet to be constructed on a preselected site. Once confirmed, the timeline for completion of this building would be approximately three years and in time to seat the first class in the summer of 2022. Additionally, students will be educated in special purpose facilities on the Marist campus for subjects such as gross anatomy.
There will be more than 100 full-time employees at the medical school, with numerous additional part-time opportunities.
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. 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. Five Marist members, five Health Quest members, the Marist president, the Health Quest CEO and the School of Medicine Dean will populate the Joint Board. The Dean will provide day-to-day leadership of the School of Medicine, overseeing a carefully recruited group of faculty and staff.
The School of Medicine will seek approvals from the national accrediting body for medical education programs – the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) – as well as the New York State Education Department and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. A search for the School of Medicine’s founding Dean and dedicated faculty will begin immediately. Once fully staffed and accredited (by July 2021), the School of Medicine is expected to begin actively recruiting students, with the first class of 60 matriculating in July 2022. By 2028, that class size is projected to increase to 120.