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BCOM receives pre-accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation

The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, also known as COCA, has awarded pre-accreditation to the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University. COCA voted in favor of BCOM?s application and awarded pre-accreditation status during a Dec. 6 meeting in Chicago.


An artist?s rendering of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at NMSU
The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University has received pre-accreditation by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. The school will break ground on its new building in early 2015. (Courtesy image)

During the meeting, a delegation from BCOM and NMSU, along with community members, health care leaders and elected officials from New Mexico, El Paso and Chihuahua, Mexico, presented their case as to why BCOM should be awarded pre-accreditation status.

?Receiving pre-accreditation is a highly significant milestone for BCOM as it validates the past two years of our work,? BCOM President Dan Burrell said. ?I give enormous credit to the team members and partners who have collaborated to get this project to a point of feasibility. I am excited about the next phase of BCOM?s development and look forward to a groundbreaking event early next year.?

By awarding pre-accreditation, COCA has determined BCOM?s feasibility study, resources and body of work completed to date will ensure a successful opening of a quality medical school in the timeframes outlined in the accrediting standards and feasibility study. Of significance was the tremendous coalition of community and stakeholder support within the BorderPlex region and statewide within New Mexico.

?The future of higher education will include more public-private partnerships,? NMSU President Garrey Carruthers said. ?Often, synergies between prominent public universities and private colleges can better serve our students, our communities and our state. Graduating more doctors who can work with underserved populations in our rural areas is consistent with NMSU?s statewide responsibilities.?

?This project is an outstanding example of a very diverse group of individuals working together to achieve a noble goal,? said Dr. George Mychaskiw, DO, founding dean and chief academic officer of the college. ?By regionally increasing the number of physicians in primary care and diversity in the workforce, we hope to positively impact the lives of the citizens of New Mexico, Texas and Chihuahua for generations to come. This is reflected in our mission statement, ?Para la gente y el futuro: For the people and the future.??

Additionally, BCOM?s financial resources have been validated. Prior to awarding pre-accreditation, BCOM was required to deposit $28 million, unencumbered, into an escrow account now controlled under a tri-party agreement between COCA, BCOM and the financial institution holding the funds. All other funds for the project have been and are being contributed through the Burrell Group, LLC.

As part of the agreement with NMSU, BCOM has signed a long-term land lease for its facility at NMSU?s Arrowhead Park. The next major step in BCOM?s development is to break ground on the new 80,000-square-foot medical school located at the park. The project?s architect, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, has completed the plans and the contractor, GenCon, is prepared to break ground on Jan. 5, 2015, for a May 2016 completion. BCOM expects to have obtained its provisional accreditation and admit its first class in August 2016.

Additionally, BCOM has agreed to create a significant scholarship fund for NMSU students pursuing health care and health-related fields, with an emphasis on pre-medicine students. BCOM will also provide payment to NMSU for its students to participate and utilize the same campus services as NMSU students, such as campus housing, NMSU?s student activity center and admission to NMSU athletic events.

The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University is a freestanding, privately funded, separately licensed and independently operated entity. It is not part of New Mexico State University.