The University of Texas (UT) System is planning to establish a medical school in Tyler, which would become the seventh in the system and the first in East Texas.
A proposal for the project will be on the agenda at the next UT System Board of Regents meeting on February 26.
Assuming the regents approve the proposal, the process will continue with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and other appropriate state agencies.
Funding for the construction of new facilities will come from the Permanent University Fund, which allocated $95 million for the project last November. The Board of Regents earmarked $60 million for a graduate medical education and resident teaching facility and $35 million for an advanced nursing and health sciences complex.
“Under the new plan,” says a press release from the UT system, “with established medical residencies already in place, future physicians could complete their entire education and training in Tyler, ultimately providing more top health care professions who will live and serve in the region.”
According to an economic impact study from the Perryman Group, the project is estimated to produce $1.9 billion dollars annually and create over 18,000 new jobs.
“A medical school in Tyler will give East Texans the chance to pursue their career aspirations without having to leave the region to do so,” said Kevin Eltife, the chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “More importantly, it will increase the number of physicians and critical specialty areas to serve the region, which ultimately will enhance health outcomes and benefit all East Texans.”
According to the press release from UT, the project has received support from many elected officials, including State Reps. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), Travis Clardy (R- Nacogdoches), Dan Flynn (R-Canton), Cole Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant), Jay Dean (R-Longview), Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston), and Keith Bell (R-Forney); State Sens. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola); Tyler Mayor Martin Heines; and Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran (R).
“We are profoundly grateful to the UT System for its investment in the future health care in East Texas,” said Michael Tidwell, UT Tyler President. “These programmatic and facilities investments will improve health care education, research, and clinical services for generations to come.”
Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.