On October 18, 2016, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine passed a pivotal milestone. It received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The College can now begin to recruit its charter class of 60 students.

Founding Dean John Tomkowiak
Founding Dean John Tomkowiak

Accreditation marks the culmination of more than a year of work that united the College with communities across the state. Together, we have created an infrastructure for health care education and delivery that is “bold, audacious, and visionary.”

Those three words, spoken by the late Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd, capture the essence of his idea for a second public medical school in the state. His goal was benevolent: to expand access to health care in medically underserved areas of Washington.

Today the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine stands ready to lead the transformation of medical education.

The College boldly addresses Washington’s physician shortage with a community-based medical school. It has forged partnerships with hospitals and clinics across the state’s diverse landscape. Instead of learning in a central teaching hospital, students will master the art and science of medicine in the hearts of our communities. They will learn to value diversity and embrace service. Patients will reap the benefits of a new cadre of compassionate physicians.

The College audaciously teaches students how to achieve extraordinary health outcomes with ordinary means. Medical students will be equipped with the knowledge and experience they need to become health care leaders. They will know how to deliver the highest level of care, even in challenging environments.

The College’s visionary research enterprise will spark change in health care processes and the practice of medicine. Faculty members are already reaching across disciplines to find answers. They team with faculty from other WSU colleges, both at the Spokane Health Sciences campus and at WSU locations statewide. The College’s fundamental, translational, and clinical investigations will help WSU stand tall among the nation’s top public research universities.

As the founding dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, I challenge our students, clinical faculty, researchers, and staff to continue pursuing innovation and fostering collaboration. With the support of President Kirk Schulz and all of the stakeholders who have made this school a reality, we can give every community in Washington access to high quality health care.