JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas State University has selected consultants to study whether the school should open an osteopathic school of medicine.
Tripp Umbach this month will begin studying whether opening a medical school is practical and cost-effective. The firm will make a recommendation to the school's Board of Trustees on whether a program should be authorized.
System president Charles L. Welch this summer gave Chancellor Tim Hudson permission to explore opening a medical school. Hudson said in a statement Monday that osteopathic medical schools can "elevate primary health care across a region, produce tremendous economic impact on communities and raise the prestige level of associated universities."
Trustees will need to explore how the school would be funded, how clinics would be run and whether the school could enter partnerships with any firms, said Jason Penry, the Jonesboro school's vice chancellor for university advancement.
Tripp Umbach has done similar medical education studies in Georgia, Indiana and Michigan.
The Delta Regional Authority last week dedicated $25,000 toward the study.
"We want to make an informed decision," Hudson said. "Along with selecting a feasibility study partner we have also made sure to include doctors of osteopathy here in Arkansas, leading members of professional medical community across the state and the leadership of our local and regional medical facilities in our discussions."
Trustees could be asked to make a decision by the end of the year.
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