July 16, 2008

Commonwealth Medical College Will Open Office in Wilkes-Barre

By Denise Allabaugh, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Jul. 16--The Commonwealth Medical College will announce Thursday the opening of its Wilkes-Barre regional campus office in the fifth floor at the Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald building at 15 S. Franklin St., said Dr. Robert D'Alessandri, dean and president.

"This is not a clinical site," D'Alessandri said. "We will be using that office as an education site. As we recruit faculty, faculty development sessions will be held there.

"It will be a place for meetings with area college faculty as well as joint planning and programming."

The Commonwealth Medical College headquarters will be constructed on Pine Street in Scranton and is expected to be complete in two years, D'Alessandri said.

"We are on track to accept students in 381 days," D'Alessandri said.

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania has committed $25 million toward the college, which is intended to offer an innovative approach to medical education through community-based learning.

The college is focused on developing community physicians, primary care and specialists, who are skilled in evidence-based medicine and the latest technology.

Students will work with extended families who have a variety of health and social issues to improve the health of community residents, D'Alessandri said.

"The Wilkes-Barre campus will be part of the first-year educational experience for our students.

"They will be assigned to campus families in the area as part of their first-year clinical experience," D'Alessandri said.

"Our medical school is a little different.

"When students are accepted to come to the first day of class, they also will be assigned families to follow for four years who live in the clinical campus regions."

The college is in the process of seeking degree-granting authority from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. It will help alleviate physician shortages and inject millions of dollars into the local economy, the dean said.

[email protected], 570-821-2115


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