New Medical School Reaches Big Milestones - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Medical School Reaches Big Milestones

YAKIMA, Wa -  The new osteopathic medical school in Terrace Heights makes a formal announcement that it is beginning the accreditation process.

KNDO first reported the news nine days ago. Administrators at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences celebrating two big milestones at a press conference Wednesday morning.

They now have the required ten and a half million dollars in reserve funds and they have submitted a feasibility study to the American Osteopathic Association, Commission on College Accreditation.

"The people that have been working on this most closely up to this point are all just thrilled because we truly know now that we are going to have the school," says Dr. Lloyd Butler, the President of the school's Board of Trustees, "We've reached that crucial mass where we know we are going to have a medical school. We've reached all the milestones that put us in a position to say that with total confidence."

Founder and President Dr. Greg Mick also formally introduced the medical school's first dean.  KNDO first reported the news earlier this month. Dr. William Betz comes to Yakima from Pikeville College in eastern Kentucky, where he was the associate dean for eight years.  He also helped start an osteopathic medical school there.  It was built with the same intentions, to place doctors in rural communities.

"What we learned is that if you take them from the hills and train them in the hills, they are more likely to stay in the hills.  And that's exactly what we're going to do here," says Dr. Betz, "If you take them from rural areas and train them in rural areas, they are more likely to stay in those areas and take care of their own folks."

Some big dates on the horizon for the new osteopathic medical school.  They'll start building on this site in terrace heights next April.  Initial construction should be finished by the summer, 2008.  Classes will begin that fall.