Event sets stage for opening of Heritage College on South Pointe Hospital campus
As preparations accelerate for its new campus in Cleveland, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine unveiled symbolic artwork that will greet visitors to its new site during a reception at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
The work, a glass wall etched with a mural of a Yoshino cherry tree, will grace the entrance to the Heritage College medical education building on Cleveland Clinic’s South Pointe Hospital campus in Warrensville Heights. The first class of 50 students will begin their studies on the new campus in July 2015.
The Heritage College is developing its new campus in affiliation with Cleveland Clinic and with the support of other healthcare organizations in the region to train more primary care physicians to serve communities in northeast Ohio. Students at the new campus will remain in the region for all four years of medical school, with the intention of staying in northeast Ohio to practice.
“For nearly 40 years, the Heritage College has excelled in meeting its mission to train primary care physicians who practice in Ohio,” said Isaac Kirstein, D.O., dean of the Heritage College, Cleveland. “Now, with this new campus, we’re thrilled to partner with Cleveland Clinic and other healthcare providers to bring that success to northeast Ohio.
Toby Cosgrove, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic, said the academic-corporate partnership underlying the new campus “fits together perfectly,” with Heritage College’s leadership in primary care education complementing Cleveland Clinic’s reputation in specialty care. “I think we will look back on this day and realize that we are changing the way healthcare is going to be taught and the way it’s going to be delivered.”
Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, Ph.D., said he expects the new campus to have a big impact on the region. “This collaboration will help increase access to care, stimulate medical innovation and improve the economic health of our communities, both in northeast Ohio and throughout the state,” he said.
Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit described the significance of the Yoshino cherry tree to the university. “The spectacular spring blooms of the Yoshino cherry trees have become iconic to Ohio University, signifying new beginnings, friendships, growth and renewal,” she said.
In Athens, a grove of cherry trees, a 1979 gift from Chubu University in Nagoya, Japan, grows along the Hocking River, representing a token of kinship from one community to another. In 2013, a Yoshino cherry was planted as part of the groundbreaking celebration for the Heritage College, Dublin. As the Heritage College prepares to launch its third campus in 2015, Benoit said it brings the iconic tree to Cleveland through the glass wall, symbolizing the connection between the three Heritage College campuses and Ohio University.
While the Heritage College is undergoing a period of growth and transformation with the opening of its Dublin campus in July 2014 and preparations for its Cleveland campus opening next summer, Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., pointed out that the college’s mission remains constant.
“As our college grew from one campus to two – and now as we prepare to grow from two campuses to three – we have begun to change the way we educate students,” Johnson said. “But one thing will never change: our commitment to training caring and compassionate osteopathic physicians.”
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio.
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