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Hofstra University to Establish New School of Medicine, Partnering with the North Shore-LIJ Health System

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and the North Shore-LIJ Health System President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Dowling joined today to announce a unique and historic agreement to plan the establishment of a new medical school on Hofstra's campus in Hempstead, New York.

The Hofstra University School of Medicine, in partnership with North Shore-LIJ, would be the first allopathic (M.D.) medical school in Nassau County and the first new allopathic medical school established in New York State since 1963. Few allopathic medical schools have opened in the United States since 1975. In 2006, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommended that enrollment in medical colleges be increased by 30% by 2015, citing U.S. population increases, a doubling of citizens over the age of 65 between 2000 and 2030, and an aging physician workforce, among other factors. There are currently 126 American allopathic medical schools.

"This is an important day for Hofstra University and for all of Long Island," said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. "The establishment of a new medical school brings new research and cutting-edge scholarship to our campus, provides our region with better health care resources and allows Hofstra University's standing in the international academic community to continue to grow. Our partnership with a renowned institution such as the North Shore-LIJ Health System will ensure that the Hofstra School of Medicine, once established, will have excellent clinical training and extensive resources from the outset."

"Partnering with Hofstra University on a medical school will further enhance the North Shore-LIJ Health System's ability to recruit nationally renowned physicians and researchers, which will go a long way toward bolstering the quality of health care on Long Island and enhancing the region's standing as an epicenter for groundbreaking medical research," said Mr. Dowling.

Hofstra University and the North Shore-LIJ Health System will work in close collaboration on the plan to establish a medical school, and each institution will provide teaching faculty for the new school. This is a unique combination of two outstanding institutions that will create an innovative and distinguished medical school. Hofstra University has a strong reputation as an institution of academic excellence, both nationally and internationally, an undergraduate and graduate student body with increasingly strong credentials, schools of law, business, liberal arts and sciences, communications, and education that provide exceptional interdisciplinary opportunities, nationally renowned faculty who are excellent teachers and scholars, and an existing admissions and student services infrastructure. The North Shore-LIJ Health System, as the third largest health system in the nation, brings a first-class group of hospitals, health care facilities and research institutions, as some of the nation's best-respected physicians and researchers.

"As one of the nation's 20 largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ offers a vast array of clinical programs and services that already provide about 1,100 medical residents and fellows with extraordinary learning experiences at our teaching hospitals, including nationally recognized children's and psychiatric hospitals, as well as The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research," said Lawrence G. Smith, MD, chief medical officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. "Considering that we have more than 8,000 highly-talented physicians and researchers affiliated with our health system, North Shore-LIJ clearly provides an exceptional faculty that would quickly elevate the stature of Hofstra's proposed medical school."

The first step in moving forward with the medical school is the accreditation process, which has just begun. The medical school must go through two processes, a program registration with the New York State Education Department's Office of College and University Evaluation and the Board of Regents, and an accreditation with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The LCME awards initial, preliminary accreditation to programs based on documentation about the program and the institution's readiness to educate a first class. Preliminary accreditation allows the institution to admit a charter class of students, and then the program is reevaluated annually for provisional accreditation until full accreditation is granted, generally in the year that the charter class graduates. The target date for the admission of the charter class, which will be approximately 30 students, is currently in September of 2010 or 2011.

Hofstra University, in conjunction with the North Shore-LIJ Health System, will begin an international search for a founding dean of the School of Medicine, who will be responsible for shaping the educational framework of the school and moving the accreditation process forward. Once hired, the dean will report directly to Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz, and work closely with the North Shore-LIJ Health System's clinical and academic leaders.

"I am pleased to convey the unanimous support of Hofstra's Trustees in the establishment of the School of Medicine," said John Miller, Chair of the University's Board of Trustees. "This is indeed an exciting time for Hofstra University, which is in the midst of unprecedented growth and change, and it has been a privilege to be a part of the efforts to expand the University's academic programs, national reputation and financial resources."

"The North Shore-LIJ Health System has a long history of promoting and recognizing academic achievement, as evidenced by the 15 endowed professorships we have created to enhance our clinical research and education," said Saul Katz, chairman of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Board of Trustees. "Our Board of Trustees is eager to pursue a partnership with Hofstra that will further strengthen the reputation for academic excellence that exists within our teaching hospitals and The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research."

Hofstra University will build a state-of-the-art school of medicine on the University's 240 acre campus in Hempstead. The 11 acre parcel, located in the northeast section of the campus, bounded by Earle Ovington Boulevard and Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, would be the site of both a new academic facility and residential housing for medical students. Decisions about the facilities, including building plans and facility details, would be made after the appointment of the founding dean.

Hofstra University medical students would take basic science classes primarily on the Hofstra campus, under the supervision of Hofstra faculty members. For clinical rotations in all major disciplines, medical students would learn from the North Shore-LIJ Health System medical doctors and researchers, who will receive faculty appointments in the Hofstra School of Medicine. Medical students would learn in both the Hofstra University School of Medicine as well as the many facilities throughout the North Shore-LIJ Health System during their four years of medical school.

In addition to working throughout the North Shore-LIJ Health System's 16 hospitals, 13 long-term care facilities, centers of innovation and of progressive care, medical students would have the opportunity to study in affiliate hospitals such as Nassau University Medical Center. "Students from a new Hofstra Medical School would have an unparalleled opportunity to work with the population served by Nassau University Medical Center," said President and Chief Executive Officer Arthur Gianelli. "Our health clinics and the economically disadvantaged population served by those clinics would also benefit greatly from these medical students."

"With an aging population and surging improvements in medical technology, health care leaders in the United States have urged a one-third increase in physicians. By 2020, just 12 years from now, the U.S. population is slated to grow by over 33 million, which is more than New York State's current population," said New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Health Committee. "The need for well trained doctors, at hospitals and universities following established and cutting edge protocols, is self-evident. The North Shore-LIJ Health System and Hofstra University are to be commended for their commitment to the hard work necessary to establish and run a world class medical school. The Chairs of the respective boards, Saul Katz and John Miller, and the executive officers of each institution, Michael Dowling and Stuart Rabinowitz, deserve kudos for their foresight in setting tough goals and providing the intelligence and judgment in achieving this worthy end."

The economic impact of the Hofstra University School of Medicine on Long Island and the surrounding metropolitan area is estimated to exceed $100 million dollars per year once the school is operational, plus at least $100 million in capital construction. Additionally, Hofstra University estimates that with the research funding awarded to the school as well as the North Shore-LIJ Health System, and the spending of the school's students and faculty, the annual economic impact will be vastly in excess of these figures.

The establishment of a medical school is important for the continued growth of the Long Island region, allowing for the cultivation of research and development, and a growth in innovative high-tech and biotech industries. According to the 2007 Long Island Index, a report of the Rauch Foundation, wages on Long Island have stagnated (while rising in the U.S.) and that innovation as measured by investment by venture capitalists and federal research and development was minimal.

"Today's announcement by Hofstra University and The North Shore-LIJ will have a lasting imprint on the future of Nassau County," said New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). "Through this visionary collaboration, the medical school and the research it spurs will offer tremendous new opportunities to local students, propel our region's burgeoning biotechnology sector and provide a new source of pride for all Long Islanders."

"This bold plan to create a new medical school in the County is consistent with our vision for the Nassau HUB," said Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi. "By bringing together one of the nation's leading teaching hospitals and an outstanding university, this medical school will be of enormous benefit to our region."

"I am pleased to join with the staff and administration of Hofstra University in celebrating this momentous occasion," said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. "The partnership between North Shore-LIJ and Hofstra University to begin the process of creating the Town of Hempstead's first medical school will have a uniquely positive impact on our entire area."

"I am excited to learn that Hofstra University will soon be opening a school of medicine in the 4th Congressional District," said Representative Carolyn McCarthy. "Hofstra's long standing commitment to excellence will undoubtedly carry over to its medical school, where they will train tomorrows best and brightest doctors. The facility will certainly provide Nassau County residents with another option in high quality healthcare, and will move our nation one step closer towards reducing the shortage of healthcare professionals."

About Hofstra University

Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution offering more than 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law, to more than 12,000 students. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, professors teach small classes averaging 23 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.

About The North Shore-LIJ Health System

The nation's third largest, non-profit, secular healthcare system, the North Shore-LIJ Health System cares for people of all ages throughout Long Island, Queens and Staten Island - a service area encompassing more than five million people. Including its clinical affiliates, the health system consists of 16 hospitals, 13 long-term care facilities, a medical research institute, four trauma centers, five home health agencies and dozens of outpatient centers. The members and affiliates of The North Shore-LIJ house more than 8,800 beds, and are staffed by over 8,000 physicians, about 11,000 nurses and a total workforce of more than 37,500 -- the largest employer on Long Island and the ninth largest in New York City. The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to 45 research laboratories that focus on translating scientific discoveries into the drugs and treatments of the future, it ranks in the top 6% of all institutions receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health. Feinstein scientists are internationally renowned for their contributions to Parkinson's disease, sepsis, arthritis, lupus, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, psychiatric disorders, molecular genetics, lymphoma, and cancer.

SOURCE Hofstra University
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