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Provisional certification granted
Planned medical school in Martinsville passes another hurdle

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) on Monday granted the College of Henricopolis School of Medicine (CHSM) in Martinsville provisional certification for one year.

The provisional certification will allow CHSM to complete the process to obtain preliminary accreditation with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), according to an agenda for SCHEV’s Monday meeting. The LCME accredits medical education programs in the United States and Canada.

“Upon satisfactorily obtaining preliminary accreditation, and upon satisfaction of SCHEV’s site visit review of the completed facility, and final review of faculty credentials, (t)he school would be immediately eligible for full certification and thereafter able to engage in instruction,” the agenda states.

“It’s a big turning point for us,” said Dr. Noel T. Boaz, president of CHSM. He also called it “welcome (news)” that has been “two years in the making.”

The plan is to open the medical school in September 2015, Boaz said. A minimum of 75 students would be accepted in the first class, he added.

During the period of provisional certification from SCHEV, CHSM will not be allowed to advertise or receive student applications until it has achieved preliminary accreditation from LCME, according to the SCHEV agenda. It also will have to meet other SCHEV requirements.

Boaz said the medical school has been preaccredited by LCME for about a year, and it is on track to receive preliminary programmatic accreditation from LCME this September. But first, LCME will make a site visit this summer, looking at such things as CHSM’s buildings, plans and finances.

LCME has been “positive” about the medical school so far, Boaz said.

Before the expiration of the period of provisional certification (June 1, 2015), SCHEV will conduct a final review of faculty credentials before issuing full certification to CHSM, according to the agenda. It adds CHSM “shall satisfy a site visit conducted by SCHEV staff demonstrating that the facility conforms to all federal, state and local building codes and that it is equipped with classrooms, instructional and resource facilities, and laboratories adequate for the size of the faculty and student body and adequate to support the educational program to be offered by the school.”

It adds that the medical college’s “provisional certification shall lapse if the school does not achieve preliminary accreditation from LCME by June 1, 2015. In the event of such lapse the school may reapply for certification.”

According to information Boaz provided, there will be two CHSM campuses:

• Basic sciences campus —The first two years of the curriculum will be delivered primarily at the CHSM Basic Sciences campus (the Shackelford Building) at Fayette and Moss streets. Renovation of the 25,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be complete early next year. “Classrooms, small-group meeting rooms, a large multi-purpose room (‘educatorium’), library, registrar, business offices, bookstore, and café are located on the main floor. Administrative and some faculty offices are located on the third floor. Laboratories and additional faculty offices are on the basement level of the building. The Gross Anatomy Laboratory occupies a central part of this floor.”

• Clinical sciences campus — A 25,000-square-foot building that houses CHSM’s affiliated nonprofit ICSM Medical Clinic, a clinic that provides preventive and direct primary care, is scheduled for renovation in 2014-15. It will include classrooms, meeting rooms, a flexible large-group meeting room, clinical faculty offices, clinical library and patient simulator laboratory. Medical students will assist in community-medicine clinical care of patients under the supervision of clinical faculty and nursing staff beginning in their first year. Third-year medical students will undertake their required clinical clerkships in pediatrics, family medicine, surgery, psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology at the adjacent Memorial Hospital in Martinsville, as well as other approved medical centers. Fourth-year medical students will complete elective clinical clerkships at this hospital and other approved medical centers.

Boaz stressed the importance of the fund-raising campaign for the medical school and urged the public to participate. Once the medical school is up and running, it will be sustainable through tuition, he said.

“I hope people understand how really significant this (CHSM) is,” Boaz said. This will be the first freestanding medical school opened in Virginia since 1819, he said. Its tuition will be the lowest of any medical school in Virginia, he added.

A premedical institute (a nine-month course) will begin this fall through the medical school’s nonprofit partner, the Integrative Centers for Science and Medicine, Boaz said.


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