UK, WKU, Med Center Health break ground on new medical complex

Published: Jun. 6, 2017 at 5:55 PM CDT
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The University of Kentucky has broken ground on a new joint venture with Western Kentucky University and Med Center Health.

UK College of Medicine - Bowling Green campus will be the first of its kind in Kentucky, offering a chance to attend a four year regional Medical School.

It's a project that those involved say doesn't get done without working together.

"I violated a University of Kentucky Presidential dress code today," said President of The University of Kentucky, Dr. Eli Capilouto. "I wore a tie with red in it."

Exiting president of Western Kentucky University, Dr. Gary Ransdell, says it's been something he's had his eyes on for a long time.

"This is one of the things on my to-do list, to try to get done before I take off," he says. "This is something we have worked at, and yes I'm very grateful for our friends at the Medical Center."

Together, the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and the The Medical Center aim to attack a problem currently facing state of Kentucky.

"Kentucky needs more physicians," says Dr. Capilouto, "To many lives are cut short; too many dreams extinguished."

"The opportunity to have people from here, train here, the more people they're going to stay here," says The Med Center's Director of Health Education, Dr. Don Brown. "There's a lot of counties that don't have a single primary care physician. I think this helps from a recruitment standpoint. I'm just honored to be a part of it."

Students will follow an identical curriculum as those at the Lexington Campus.

Dr. Todd Cheever will serve as the first Associate Dean.

"I graduated from Western 30 years ago, went to Lexington to go to medical school," says Dr. Cheever. "I loved Lexington. I thought I would probably end my career there in the College of Medicine."

When Dr. Cheever was offered a chance to come back, he says he didn't even hesitate.

"I said 'sign me up. I'm there.' I want to move back home to Bowling Green because that is home to me," he says.

The school will be accepting 30 students per year. It's expecting to be finished next summer, with programs beginning the following Fall.