The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

Sanofi Pasteur and Pocono Medical Center Provide Financial Support to The Commonwealth Medical College to Improve Access to Quality Healthcare in the Poconos

Sunday, January 27, 2020

Sanofi Pasteur announces donation of $1.5 million in funding, one of its largest company donations to date

Today, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, and Pocono Medical Center officially announced financial support of The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) in a collaborative venture to expertly train and retain physicians in the region.

Details of these financial commitments were announced today at Pocono Medical Center, located in East Stroudsburg Pa., as Sanofi Pasteur officially presented a $1.5 million dollar gift to TCMC. This gift, secured by Sanofi Pasteur President and CEO, Wayne Pisano, will be used for the further development of research facilities at the medical school. The donation marks one of the largest provided by Sanofi Pasteur US to date.

Pocono Medical Center provided support at the Founder’s Society level with a gift of $80,000, and will partner with TCMC to offer advanced training opportunities to medical students.

“One of the key factors in our decision to invest in this important new medical and community resource was the impressive credentials of the core executive team,” said Michael Decker, MD, MPH, vice president, Scientific and Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, Sanofi Pasteur. “Based on this expertise, combined with ambitious yet attainable plans for future growth, The Commonwealth Medical College will likely serve as one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s strongest and most influential change agents.” In addition to his role at Sanofi Pasteur, Dr. Decker has also been involved with curriculum development on TCMC’s Curriculum Advisory Committee, which has been instrumental in the successful integration of meaningful, relevant community-medicine content within TCMC’s coursework.

Pocono Medical Center’s President and CEO, Kathleen E. Kuck spoke to the physician shortage in the region. “We are experiencing a provider shortage in our area of approximately 100 physicians. Our ability to continue to reduce medical provider shortages in multiple specialties will be significantly enhanced though our relationship with The Commonwealth Medical College. We will have the ability to continue to add to and expand our existing service lines through the recruitment of the highly trained students of TCMC.”

“This collaboration will enhance research and medical outcomes in ways that are fundamental to the success of The Commonwealth Medical College in meeting its goal of improving the health and well being of the people of Monroe County and the entire community of Northeastern Pennsylvania. TCMC will be a resource to prepare and train medical practitioners that will hopefully stay in these communities and care for patients in this region,” stated president and dean, Robert D’Alessandri, MD.

The medical school already has significant connections to Sanofi Pasteur, Pocono Medical Center and Monroe County. Several Pocono Medical Center physicians have signed on as Clinical Faculty members and a leading member of the Sanofi Pasteur team, Ginamarie Foglia, DO, is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Basic Science (Microbiology/Immunology) at the College.

Additionally, Pocono Medical Center is a member of TCMC’s Founder’s Society -- individuals, families, corporations and foundations from Pennsylvania that have provided much-needed funding that will support all aspects of opening and operating the region’s new medical college.

“Pocono Medical Center looks forward to a continued partnership with The Commonwealth Medical College. In addition to providing training resources through student observations and medical internships, we hope to recruit and retain superior medical staff members from the College to care for our patients in the future,” stated Jonathan Goldner, D.O., chief of Medical Staff at Pocono Medical Center.

Medical students at TCMC are assigned to a physician mentor, a family and a regional campus that will include areas in a 16 county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. During unique week-long community experiences in years one and two of medical school, students learn about healthcare issues through the eyes and experiences of their assigned family with their physician mentor as a guide. Also at this time students continue to learn in years three and four through involvement in a public health issue of concern to their assigned area.

TCMC plans to have thirty-five researchers in place at the College before the first class of students plan to enter the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program and the Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) Program in the fall of 2009. The College has been active in the recruitment process and has already signed numerous faculty members and researchers in the Basic Science Department from established institutions throughout the United States. Faculty members that are being recruited are actively pursuing funded research in areas especially relevant to the people of the region including: diabetes, geriatric diseases, obesity, addictions, illness related to environmental exposure and immune system related issues.

The new medical school that was created to ease the projected physician shortage in Northeastern Pennsylvania has a goal of admitting 70% Pennsylvanians who will hopefully stay in the region to practice medicine and care for patients. The College is projected to add 425 qualified, diverse practicing physicians to Northeastern Pennsylvania during the next 20 years. In addition, the new medical school is expected to add $70 million to the local economy once it is open and create 1,000 new jobs that directly and indirectly support the school’s operations. Sanofi Pasteur is located on a 500-plus acre campus in Swiftwater, Pa. The site employs approximately 2200 individuals who work in all aspects of providing new and improved immunological products. Sanofi Pasteur US includes 44 buildings, encompassing more than one million square feet of space for industrial operations, research & development and commercial operations. For more information, please visit:

Pocono Medical Center is an acute-care hospital accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the national organization responsible for rigorous review of hospital procedures and policies. PMC provides high quality, state-of-the-art acute medical care and is committed to patient satisfaction, education, and promotion of wellness. Pocono Medical Center includes the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center, the Clementine Abeloff Community Health Center, the Mattioli Emergency Center, the ESSA Heart and Vascular Institute and numerous other inpatient and outpatient services. PMC is part of the Pocono Health System (PHS).