The Cherokee Nation and the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) are building an 84,000 square-foot facility in Tallequah to house the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation.
The new medical school campus will be built on the W.W. Hastings campus in Tahlequah, and is the first tribally affiliated medical school on tribal land in the United States, the Cherokee Nation says.
“Health care in Indian Country took a major step forward today with the historic groundbreaking of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker says.
“We believe this school will produce a new wave of medical students who will possess the medical knowledge and the mindset to reside and practice in northeast Oklahoma, positively impacting Cherokee Nation health care and other health care systems across the region.”
The facility will have state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls and cutting-edge technology such as computer-programmable manikins and medical simulation.
The college is slated to open in 2020 with 50 students. The medical school is expected to serve 200 students when it becomes fully operational. The first graduating class at the new facility is expected to complete their medical education in May 2024.
"The OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Cherokee Nation have a shared vision of populating rural and underserved Oklahoma with OSU primary care physicians," says Kayse Shrum, OSU-CHS president and dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
"I can't think of a better way to achieve this vision than by partnering with the Cherokee Nation to establish the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation. The groundbreaking for this new medical school in Tahlequah marks a new day for rural and tribal health.”
The new medical school will employ 16 full-time faculty, five part-time faculty and numerous adjunct clinical faculty, and is certified by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.