Founding Dean John TomkowiakWe finally reached the moment we have awaited for so long – the arrival of our first class at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

For our 60 talented students, this marks the culmination of years of persistent and intense determination to attend medical school. These students, who represent 15 of the state’s 39 counties, have served in multiple countries around the globe, and who bring a wide range of diverse family, educational and professional backgrounds; are charting the path for thousands of WSU medical students who will follow in the years to come. Their hard work, obstacles overcome, dreams realized, and passions to make a difference in the state of Washington are all values that will build the legacy of who we are and the difference we’re making in our state.

For our faculty, staff, as well as our local community and state, this similarly marks a major milestone in a journey that has been years of hard work in the making. It also signifies the starting point of a new phase in our medical school that re-energizes us and renews our excitement for the work ahead.

Now, we come together – students, faculty and staff – in our effort to make a “bold, audacious, and visionary” impact in the state of Washington. These words of our namesake, the late Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd, continue to guide our mission to expand access to health care in medically underserved areas of Washington.

As we embark on these next four years with this charter class, we will continue to boldly address Washington’s physician shortage with our community-based approach to medical school. We will work to double the number of partnerships with hospitals and clinics across the state, and introduce our students to the communities where they will gain valuable clinical experience as well as form important connections with local populations.

We will audaciously teach our students how to achieve extraordinary health outcomes with ordinary means, equipping them with the knowledge and experience they need to become health care leaders. Through their unique, community-based experiences, they will learn how to deliver the highest level of care, even in challenging environments.

We will continue our visionary approach to the intersection of research, technology and the practice of healthcare. From mobile healthcare units to our tech incubator, we will pave the way for a new delivery system of healthcare.

This milestone marks a proud moment for the entire state of Washington. It’s a moment we will continue to build on, working to give every community in Washington access to high quality health care. And, it’s a moment that will become part of the legacy we create, always ensuring that Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is a source of state pride for years to come.