Marian University announced today that it has received a $5 million grant from the Indianapolis-based Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The Fairbanks Foundation is an independent, private foundation granting funds in three primary focus areas: health, the vitality of Indianapolis, and sustainable employment. This grant will support the start-up cost of the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Opening in August 2013, the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine will be only the second medical school in Indiana and a strong complement to the allopathic Indiana University School of Medicine. It will also be the only Catholic college of osteopathic medicine in the country. To date, the College of Osteopathic Medicine has received more than 2,500 applications from medical school candidates hoping to be part of the inaugural class of 150 doctors of osteopathic medicine, or DOs, in 2017.
The Fairbanks Foundation seeks to invest in initiatives and organizations that help strengthen and grow the Indianapolis economy in key economic sectors such as the life sciences. In that specific area, Marian University has a long and distinguished history of producing exemplary health care professionals to serve in the central Indiana community. The School of Nursing, Marian University’s largest school serving more than 700 students, has educated thousands of nurses since it was established in 1977. Continuing in that excellent tradition, the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine will create more than 90 jobs for highly qualified experts, including 25 Ph.D.s in life sciences, and will turn out 150 doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) each year beginning in 2017.
“This Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation grant will do much to ensure we have the resources to create Indiana’s first medical school in more than 100 years and fulfill our commitment to make it a top-tier medical school,” said Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener. “This magnanimous investment will help us recruit, educate and form highly qualified physicians who are prepared to meet the growing medical needs in communities in Indiana and beyond.”
Marian University will use the Fairbanks Foundation grant monies to bridge the gap between the up-front expenses of starting a new medical school and the income that eventually will be derived from tuition revenue. The medical school is already recruiting nationally recognized faculty leaders and establishing clinical partnerships with many of the area’s largest health and hospital systems, including St.Vincent Health, Community Health Network, Community Westview Hospital, Indiana’s only osteopathic hospital, and in rural locations throughout the state.
“We have been honored to receive and benefit from outstanding community support,” said Dr. Paul Evans, vice president and founding dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “By directly addressing Indiana’s critical need for more primary care physicians, the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine will ultimately improve healthcare in Indiana, and the Fairbanks Foundation clearly recognizes that end goal.”
The Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences, which will house the new medical school and the Marian University School of Nursing, is a $47 million construction project scheduled to open in the summer of 2013. Both medical and nursing students will train together in the building and share simulation lab space. The building is part of a larger health and life sciences initiative on campus with financial needs totaling $160 million. For more information, visit www.marian.edu/medicalschool