Medical College progress a win for Green Bay community, Harden says

The Medical College of Wisconsin announced Monday (Nov. 19) its plans for development of a Northeastern Wisconsin satellite campus that would have its academic headquarters at St. Norbert College in De Pere and a clinical simulation center at Bellin College in Green Bay. The MCW Board of Trustees on Friday authorized administrators to begin negotiations with those partners.

The announcement is the latest step in the process of bringing MCW campuses to Northeastern and Central Wisconsin, furthering the school’s reach and building academic partnerships with colleges and universities including UW-Green Bay. Chancellor Tom Harden said Monday the announcement is a win for the entire region.

“UW-Green Bay has great working relationships with St. Norbert and with Bellin College,” Harden said. “It’s a plus that the Medical College of Wisconsin will be located so close to us, with site partners we know and respect.”

UW-Green Bay expressed interest in hosting the MCW satellite campus, and there was a strong case to be made in terms of facilities, technology and the expertise of faculty and staff, Harden said. Since UW-Green Bay is a public agency, it is unable to offer free or discount rental of facilities, which may have been a limiting factor.

But regardless of where the campus is located, having MCW in town is a plus for UW-Green Bay, Harden said.

“This University graduates 100 students annually in Human Biology, and more in other health-related fields,” Harden said. “These students will benefit tremendously from a seamless, close-to-home medical school option.

“In addition, we have at least two-dozen faculty and staff members who, it is expected, will have the credentials to teach the occasional part-time course or MCW, or to partner in research. That synergy is unchanged.”

MCW officials said Monday they will engage academic institutions including UW-Green Bay to help identify faculty members for Northeastern Wisconsin’s medical education program. The program is expected to be open as early as July 2015. Enrollment for the first year will be approximately 15 students, with class sizes increasing to at least 25 in subsequent years.

It’s great news for an entire community, Harden said.

“Brown County leadership, including officials here at UW-Green Bay, made a unified, concerted effort to promote our community as an MCW satellite location,” Harden said. “I’m proud that we succeeded in making this case, that UW-Green Bay and its leadership were there from the beginning, and that there is no doubt the presence of a strong UW campus here helped bring MCW to Northeastern Wisconsin.”