MSU to bring med school to Macomb Co.

Christina Stolarz
The Detroit News

-- Kristy Maxlow doesn't believe that community colleges always receive their due respect.

But she thinks the big exception is Macomb Community College, which is pairing with Michigan State University to bring a satellite campus for MSU's osteopathic medical school to Clinton Township.

"The fact that these big colleges are willing to participate and have affiliations with this little community college makes us believe they believe in this little community college," said Maxlow, 33, of Almont, who is the president of MCC's December 2008 nursing graduating class.

"Anything that will bring attention there, and advance the programs there, is wonderful."

The medical program -- set to train 50 students in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine -- will open in June on MCC's Clinton Township campus. It's an effort to address Michigan's physician shortage.

However, the 21,850-square-foot MSU facility under construction is not slated for completion until January 2010, said Dan Heaton, manager of media relations for MCC. The community college will provide classroom space in the meantime, he said.

MCC officials say the partnership is a perfect fit because the Clinton Township campus is near several major medical facilities: Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Children's Hospital of Michigan Stilson Specialty Center and William Beaumont Medical Center.

"It's a very significant development for the college and the community," Heaton said. "MCC has a pretty well-respected name in its own right. This just provides another opportunity for the community."

A similar satellite campus is opening at the Detroit Medical Center, allowing MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine to accept an additional 100 students for a total of 300 this year, said Dr. William Strampel, dean of the program.

The program's expansion has been in the works for about three to four years. It made sense to bring the medical education to the Metro Detroit area so interested students didn't have to uproot and move to East Lansing, Strampel said.

MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine receives an estimated 5,000 applications each year, 1,000 of which are from Michigan, Strampel said. Of the Michigan applicants, about 600 come from students who live in Metro Detroit.

"I think it's going to be wildly successful," he said.

Kristin Stehouwer said she's excited because the project will allow students to remain in Macomb County to get a medical degree.

"It's an exciting development," said Stehouwer, vice provost for arts and sciences at MCC. "The building is really a symbol of the level of commitment MSU has to our county. It will be a tremendous asset."


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