The continued growth of the Central Michigan University College of Medicine was recognized Monday at the annual Great Lakes Bay Regional Chamber Summit at the Horizons Center in Saginaw.
The College of Medicine was awarded the Corporate Award at the third annual event, which attracted 575 people. Presenter Herb Spence, the president and CEO of Spence Brothers, said the College of Medicine’s mission to provide well-trained physicians to rural and underserved areas already is noticeable with many of the first 168 medical students native to the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Former Michigan Gov. John Engler was the keynote speaker and he said organizations such as the College of Medicine are important to the region and state as examples of groups recognizing a challenge and accepting the challenge.
CMU College of Medicine Interim Dean Linda Perkowski accepted the award. “It is gratifying to see how much our mission and efforts mean to this region,” she said. “From the start, Saginaw, Midland, Bay City and, of course, Mount Pleasant have embraced the vision we are building and carrying out.”
The Great Lakes Bay Regional Chamber Summit is one way the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce and Midland Area Chamber of Commerce work together on regional initiatives.
Also honored on Monday was the Shaheen Development group as a small business for its ongoing projects in Bay City and Saginaw, the Great Lakes Loons as the “Quality of Life” recipient, and Eric Gilbertson, retired president of Saginaw Valley State University, for his many years of service in the region.
The CMU College of Medicine is the nation’s 137th medical school, created to address an anticipated shortage of 4,000 to 6,000 physicians in Michigan by 2020.
Students spend their first two years of study on CMU’s main campus in a state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot facility. The third and fourth years will be spent in clinical training at a number of medical facilities across central and northern Michigan, including Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan in Saginaw.
A $25 million, 46,000-square-foot College of Medicine educational facility is under construction on the Covenant HealthCare campus in Saginaw. Construction will be complete by May 2015, in time for the inaugural students’ third year of study. In September, the CMU Board of Trustees approved a $12 million construction/renovation plan on the St. Mary’s of Michigan campus to provide more clinical space.