TYLER, Texas (KLTV). On Monday, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new UT Tyler Medical Education Building took place. The facility will be built in the downtown Tyler Medical District and will eventually house the new UT Tyler Medical School.
It will be the first medical school in East Texas and the seventh medical school in the UT system.
Last year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation approving a new school to expand access to health care in rural areas of the state.
“We’re trying to expand and improve access to health care in rural Texas,” Abbott said, “and that’s what our medical school is doing.”
Gov. Abbott, UT System Chairman Kevin Eltif, UT System Chancellor James Milliken and UT Tyler President Kirk Calhoun joined hundreds of community members to mark the launch of the $308 million project.
The Medical Education Building, a planned five-story, nearly 248,000-square-foot building, will be built on approximately five acres in the heart of Midtown’s Tyler Medical District. It will support interdisciplinary medical graduate education, internships, and nursing as part of the expansion of the medical education program throughout the UT Health East Texas healthcare system. It will include classrooms, simulation labs, clinical and operational training spaces, and multipurpose event and lecture spaces for the UT Tyler School of Medicine and graduate medical education programs.
“Today is another great day for East Texas as we see tangible steps forward in our longstanding efforts to improve the availability and quality of healthcare in the region by educating new professionals,” Altif said. “This building will host the first UT medical school in East Texas to serve and care for this community for generations to come.”
With a planned elevated bridge connection to UT Health East Texas, the new medical school will allow residents of nearby hospitals to receive hands-on training. It will provide outpatient and specialty clinical services with examination rooms, specimen collection and processing, imaging equipment, and co-programming and clinical patient care facilities. Other medical disciplines and services will include women’s imaging, women’s health, diagnostics, orthopedics, sports medicine, pulmonary care, and a surgical center to support medical residents in graduate medical education programs.
“It’s no secret that as Texas and especially East Texas continue to grow and prosper, we will need a lot more doctors and other health professionals,” Milliken said. “We are grateful to our state and university leaders for taking the steps necessary to meet this need. As a result of their commitment, UT System and UT Tyler will provide the outstanding education and patient care that all East Texas residents deserve.”
“This is a huge milestone for UT Tyler and for all of East Texas,” Calhoun said. “We are excited to take the next step in building a physical home for the School of Medicine, and on behalf of UT Tyler, I want to thank the UT System and the East Texas community for their continued support of our advances in medical education. ”
Tyler UT School of Medicine has received unparalleled community support since its inception. Some of the financial support that makes this facility possible includes:
- $80 million from the East Texas Medical Center Foundation
- A $100 million bond for the next 10 years from the UT Board of Regents.
- $10 million from the Robert M. Rogers Foundation to support mental and behavioral health education at the new medical school.
- $4 million from the RW Fair Fund to fully fund the first class of UT Tyler medical students, followed by a $5 million gift for preparatory programs and scholarships to cover second class tuition.
While the building is not expected to be ready until spring 2025, the new medical school will officially open this fall with the first intake of students.
Until the new building is completed, students will attend classes at the UT Health Sciences Center on Highway 271.
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