California Health Sciences University celebrated the opening of its College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Valley’s new medical school, in a ribbon cutting ceremony via a video on Facebook Tuesday morning.
“It’s a monumental effort to build a standalone university, especially a medical school,” said Florence T. Dunn, president of CHSU. “We are extremely blessed to have unwavering commitment from our founders, the Assemi family, who take a vision and make it a reality.”
CHSU offers a local option for those seeking to attend pharmacy or medical school, and helps remedy a shortage of healthcare services in the Central Valley, the school’s website said.
“It’s a great day. Lots of opportunity for folks here in the Valley, across our state and across our nation and the world,” said Darius Assemi, President of Granville Homes and a member of CHSU’s founding family. “We are creating pathways and opportunities never seen before in Central California to become a physician and hopefully stay here, take care of our folks and contribute to the local economy.”
The campus expansion project began in May 2018 when the school broke ground on its fourth building, located on Alluvial Avenue near Clovis Community Medical Center at Temperance Avenue near Highway 168.
Construction for the school of osteopathic medicine was completed in December 2019, with faculty and staff moving into the building in the spring of 2020.
The new medical school has three large classrooms, an osteopathic skills lab, private and collaborative study spaces, a student lounge with a teaching kitchen and a simulation center.
But, the osteopathic school isn’t the only building in CHSU’s expansion plan. The school is considering adding up to nine additional college buildings, a research lab, a student center, a library and an auditorium, along with support buildings.
CHSU said its campus, composed of three buildings in total, could eventually reach 2,000 students and nearly 300 faculty and staff in the future.
“One of the goals is to build a passionate team of staff and scientists and physician educators, and that goal was made easier because of this mission to improve the healthcare outcomes of the Central Valley,” John Graneto, Dean of Osteopathic Medicine for CHSU said.
Graneto said that the school has hired over 60 people to work at the third osteopathic school in the state.
The school will welcome its inaugural class of 75 students in July, with 30% being from the Central Valley, and 75% from California.
“We are proud of that figure,” Graneto added.