Group formed to study medical school feasibility; Blackboard sites established for information updates and feedback

Group formed to study medical school feasibility; Blackboard sites established for information updates and feedback

Editor's note: This story originally was published as a Bulletin Today update on Wednesday, May 23. It is republished here for archival purposes.

By Dr. Tom Rochon, executive vice president and chief academic officer

I am pleased to announce formation of the feasibility study group for the proposed St. Thomas medical school. In addition to me, group members from St. Thomas will be Mark Dienhart, chief administrative officer; Mark Vangsgard, chief financial officer; and Dr. Pete Parilla. Parilla was named after consultation with the faculty members of the Senate Executive Committee. From Allina Hospitals and Clinics, group members include Dr. Penny Wheeler, chief clinical officer; Dr. Dan Foley, vice president for medical affairs at United Hospital; and Dr. Terry Rosborough, director of medical education at Abbott Northwestern.

This group will have overall responsibility for developing the feasibility study that has been requested by the governing boards of St. Thomas and Allina. The boards expect a completed feasibility study to be prepared in time for their respective meetings in October.

In the coming few months, the feasibility study will be developed through a series of working groups that each focus on specific topics. Working groups will be organized on the topics and issues listed below. Each will be charged with gathering information on policies and practices in established medical schools and other relevant organizations. Each working group also will hold one or more public meetings to assemble comments and thoughts from St. Thomas, from Allina and from other relevant groups.

The working groups to be formed are:

  • Mission, focus and need
  • Governance and the Allina partnership
  • Curriculum
  • Personnel (administration and faculty)
  • Students
  • Space and facilities
  • Financial modeling
  • Synergies and spillovers (with other St. Thomas academic areas)

This is the first update in what I anticipate will be a monthly series – more often if developments warrant. Future updates will be posted on the Blackboard site described below.

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Communicating about the development of the feasibility study

From the Medical School Feasibility Study Committee

In order to facilitate access to information and dialogue about the progress of the feasibility study for the proposed medical school, we are setting up two Blackboard sites.

For updates from the Feasibility Committee, use the portal module called “Medical School Feasibility Study.” This module will appear on Blackboard’s My UST page for all faculty, staff and students – there is no need to enroll. Announcements, progress reports, and other documents will be posted here as they become available.

One of the most important tasks for the Feasibility Committee and its working groups will be to solicit information and thoughts from the wider community. This will be done in a variety of ways, including organizing focus groups and forums. To enable you to take part in discussion and to offer your thoughts about the proposed medical school, the Feasibility Committee will maintain a community site on Blackboard to receive comments. You must enroll to be part of this site. To do so, click on the Community tab once you have logged into Blackboard. On the community page you will see an organization catalog that includes the folder “Medical School Discussion.” Click on that folder to enter the discussion site. To self-enroll, you only have to click on the “enroll” tab that you will find on the discussion site. You may need to scroll to the right to see the Enroll button.

Members of the Feasibility Committee will regularly review comments posted to this site. While we do not anticipate being able to respond to comments individually, we will enter the dialogue as seems appropriate. You should also expect to see the themes and concerns developed in this dialogue reflected in the work of the Feasibility Committee and in the documents posted on the Medical School Feasibility Study module.

Key points about using the Medical School Update portal module:

This module will appear on your my UST tab and will be located at the bottom of your list of modules.

You may change the position of this module in your list by using the Modify Layout button.

To remove the module from your list, use the Modify Content button.