Accreditation team to evaluate Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

From staff reports

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine was granted accreditation candidacy last week, and members of its accrediting body are expected to visit the college at the WSU Spokane campus sometime this summer.

After applying for accreditation to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the agency which oversees all allopathic medical colleges in the U.S. and Canada to ensure standards are met, the college submitted foundational documents to the committee in December, said Doug Nadvornick, health sciences communication coordinator at WSU Spokane.

The LCME reviewed the documents, and decided to grant the college candidate status, Nadvornick said. The next step in the process is a site visit by a small group of the committee members this summer, during which they will evaluate the college.

If the LCME finds the college fits its criteria, it will grant preliminary accreditation, which will allow the college to begin recruiting and teaching students, Nadvornick said.

“I’m confident that we are going to put our best foot forward,” said John Tomkowiak, founding dean of the college. ”We don’t want to just meet accreditation standards, we want to exceed them.”

The LCME is made up of the college’s colleagues in the field of medicine from across the country, Tomkowiak said.

There are various aspects of the college which still need work before the site visit this summer, Nadvornick said. Among these are budget projections and identification of revenue sources, including how much money the college will receive from the state and private sources. The college also needs to hire more deans and faculty members and confirm its infrastructure will support its operations.

“I don’t see it as a hurdle or something to be endured,” Tomkowiak said. “I look forward to it as an opportunity to show colleagues across the nation what we’re doing. It’s up to us to demonstrate that we’re really doing all we can to have an excellent school.”

The first class of students will spend its first two years on the Spokane campus, after which students will spend their third and fourth years at one of WSU’s clinical campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver or Everett.

He said an important part of the college’s mission is to help the state of Washington focus on underserved areas in the field of health, an issue medicine has been trying to tackle for a long time without much success.

The college will train medical students to enter the professional world to help solve this problem.

Nadvornick said the late President Elson S. Floyd had the idea to create a college of medicine on the Spokane campus. He wanted to expand and decided WSU could support its own college, and was working toward this during his last few months.

“This was President Floyd’s vision,” Nadvornick said. “Now that he’s passed away we’re just kind of working on developing his vision.”

Reporting by Cody Cottier