Indiana school considers opening college of osteopathic medicine in Kansas

An out-of-state school is looking at possibly opening a college of osteopathic medicine in Kansas.

Indiana Wesleyan University President Henry Smith was quoted in that college's newspaper as saying, "Currently, we are getting good support from a wide constituency in Kansas. However, we are still in the planning and exploration and do not have approval as of yet to actually establish a COM (College of Medicine)."

Kansas Board of Regents staff said that IWU is looking at possibly purchasing land in south Johnson County for the college. IWU has said it hopes to have its college open by fall 2015.

Officials at Kansas University, which operates a College of Medicine in Kansas City, Kan., have no comment on the proposal at this time.

C.J. Janovy, director of communications for the KU Medical Center, said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, and KU Med Center Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson are scheduled to meet with IWU officials soon.

Bob Williams, executive director of Kansas Association of Osteopathic Medicine, said on Wednesday that IWU has been in contact with the association and that the association supports the proposal.

Williams said it is not unusual for a school in one state to seek to branch out to another state and that the Kansas City-area makes sense for a college of osteopathic medicine because of its central location and the need to train more primary care physicians in the region.

He said IWU is in the exploratory phase of the proposal. "It's a very expensive, complicated process that you have to go through," Williams said.

By Scott Rothschild

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