Spokane Campus


Made to Make a Difference

Elson S Floyd

How the Vision of WSU’s Late President Elson S. Floyd Became a Reality

In October 2016, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine earned accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. It was a green light for the college to begin serving as Washington’s premier community-based medical school.

“Washington State University has worked to serve the needs of our state, nation, and world for 125 years, and successful development of a medical school is one more way for us to improve the health and wellbeing of Washingtonians.”

—Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd, PhD

Fulfilling Dr. Floyd’s Vision

The late WSU President Elson S. Floyd envisioned a medical college that would achieve the following:

Expand Health Care Access

Create solutions to the problem of access to quality health care in rural and urban underserved areas of Washington State.

Train Physicians Who Will Serve Their Own Communities

Recruit students from rural and underserved urban communities to establish a pathway to medical school and back to their communities.

Be Statewide and Community-Based

Medical students complete their academic and clinical work at one or more of the WSU campuses to establish relationships in and near underserved areas.

Provide an Interprofessional Education

Give students from different health disciplines opportunities to learn in a collaborative environment, building skills needed to lead health care teams of the future.

Foster Economic Development

Expand the WSU research enterprise to spur technology transfer.

Advance Discovery

Support research that has a global impact on the science of human health and wellness.



In his State of the University address, President Floyd outlines his vision for a comprehensive network of health sciences services and programs at WSU Spokane.


The Board of Regents officially designates WSU Spokane as the university’s health sciences campus.


The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences becomes part of the Division of Health Sciences and consolidates its academic programs in Spokane.


A new $80 million Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building opens on the Spokane campus. The College of Pharmacy completes its move from Pullman to Spokane.


The WSU Board of Regents concludes that Washington State University is well positioned to create its own accredited medical school. Leaders at the University of Washington and Washington State University later announce an agreement to dissolve their WWAMI partnership and independently pursue their respective proposals to meet the state’s medical education needs.


On April 1, 2015, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs into law a bill that gives WSU the authority to create an independently accredited medical school in Spokane. WSU won bipartisan support for the proposal in the Washington state legislature. Elson S. Floyd, the 10th president of Washington State University and a nationally respected voice for affordable, accessible higher education, died of complications from colon cancer later that year. The WSU Board of Regents approves a proposal to change the name from the College of Medical Sciences to the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, in honor of the late president. The board also welcomes the announcement of Dr. John Tomkowiak, a veteran of community-based, interprofessional medical education, as the inaugural dean of the college and to begin the process of accreditation.


We welcome our inaugural class of 60 medical students, who join their new colleagues in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology who were embedded in the college this year.


Opportunities in nutrition and exercise research expanded in the college with the launch of two new advanced degree programs: a Master of Science Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and a PhD in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.


Our inaugural class of medical students begin their third-year longitudinal integrated clerkships, for which they relocated to their clinical and began working closely with clinical partners and patients across the state. Affiliate nonprofit Range Community Clinic unveils its first William A. Crosetto Mobile Health Care Unit and tours Washington.


We launch the Certificate in Medical Ethics Program and three new pathway programs: Reimagine Indians into Medicine (RISE); RISE Wy’east Pathway; and WSU Honors College Pathway.


The medical program receives full accreditation in June 2021. We also welcome our first residents with the launch of the Internal Medicine Residency Program—Everett, our first residency program. Following our first Match Day in March, we held our first College of Medicine Commencement and saw our first WSU doctors graduate alongside colleagues in SHS and NEP.


In partnership with Range Community Clinic, the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences opens the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Program and its onsite clinic—the first of its kind in eastern Washington. The Family Medicine Regional Hospital. We launch the Master of Healthcare Administration and Leadership program.