State Relations

April 7, 2014

UW School of Medicine launches “Next Generation WWAMI” in Spokane

via UW Today:

The University of Washington School of Medicine announced plans today to establish Spokane as the center of an effort called “Next Generation WWAMI.”

The UW, in partnership with the city’s health care professionals and other higher education institutions, will work to rapidly grow and continue to implement innovative approaches to medical education intended to prepare the next generation of family physicians and other doctors needed to serve both Spokane and rural and underserved urban areas in Washington.

The Next Generation WWAMI plan includes three elements.

First, thanks to the generous support of the Spokane community, which raised private dollars to temporarily fund the second year of medical education in Spokane, the UW School of Medicine will seek state funding in the next legislative session to guarantee that Spokane will become the first permanent four-year medical education program outside Seattle in the five-state WWAMI region. This funding request will also support previously-announced plans by the UW, in partnership with Washington State University, to quadruple the number of students in Spokane’s classrooms from 20 to 80 per year.

Second, the UW School of Medicine will adopt a new state-of-the art medical education curriculum in Spokane and expand clinical training opportunities in underserved areas across the state, including Yakima, Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, Bellingham and Vancouver. The new curriculum is characterized by greater integration in the program of basic science with clinical training, more active learning, and an emphasis on team-based, inter-professional medical education.  New and enhanced clinical training sites will ensure that students educated in Spokane will have the desperately-needed opportunities to put their education into required practice.

Third, the WWAMI partnerships will enable the growth of biomedical research in Spokane. This is the most exciting time in history for medical research, and success with translating the research discoveries to improvements in healthcare depends on collaboration among multiple organizations. The Spokane medical community has a strong history of clinical innovation. Next Generation WWAMI will provide the stimulus for the connection of basic medical research to clinical innovation in Spokane.

Click here to read more at UW Today.