The College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University has announced a $105 million gift — the largest private donation ever awarded to a college or university in Ohio — from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations to help address the impending shortage of primary care physicians.
Experts predict that by 2025 there will be a shortage of at least 124,000 physicians nationwide, particularly primary care physicians. To help reduce that number, the college — which will be renamed the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, pending approval by the university's board of trustees — will use the gift to expand its class size and build an extension campus in central Ohio. Scheduled to open in August 2014, the new facility will enroll fifty students a year in addition to the 140 who matriculate annually at the Athens campus. By 2019, the college expects to be graduating 200 students a year.
The funding also will be used to build a new Diabetes/Endocrine Clinical Treatment Research Center that supports programs designed to prepare primary care physicians in management and research of diabetes, the incidence of which is expected to rise 165 percent by 2050, eventually affecting one in three Americans. In addition, the gift will support the development of a new research facility at the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute.
"This historic gift...will forever change Ohio University and our College of Osteopathic Medicine," said OU president Roderick J. McDavis. "We are grateful to the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations for their commitment, which will dramatically broaden our ability to improve the human condition of the people of Ohio. This gift will transform lives."