The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

The Commonwealth Medical College Celebrates “Building Our Foundation” with the Community of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Wednesday, August 20, 2020

The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) invited the community of northeastern Pennsylvania to its “Building Our Foundation Celebration” Tuesday, marking the official start of construction of its future Medical Sciences Building on Pine Street in Scranton, PA. As a part of the celebration, the public was also invited to a campus tour/preview of TCMC’s newly renovated temporary site at Lackawanna College.

“The new medical college in northeastern Pennsylvania will improve the delivery of quality healthcare for many generations to come,” Sen. Mellow said. “We are laying the foundation upon which a new and exciting future will be built. The medical college will transform our region economically, employ thousands, offer the latest medical technology and provide top flight training for a diverse range of medical students,” stated Pennsylvania Senator Robert Mellow.

TCMC president Robert M. D’Alessandri, MD, US Representatives Christopher Carney and Paul Kanjorski, Pennsylvania Senator Robert J. Mellow and members of TCMC’s Board of Directors were present at the event, where guests received a stone to inscribe with their name and were invited to add it to the building. After the speakers, the community was invited to a reception at the end of the campus tour to meet the Dean, Board and faculty. As part of the campus tour, attendees were able to view the newly renovated facilities, including the Gross Anatomy Lab, Student Community Rooms, Clinical Skills and Simulation Center and Library.

“We wanted to invite the whole community to be a part of this important milestone for the College. Without the support of the wonderful people of northeastern Pennsylvania we would not have been able to get to this day. The campus tour gives us the opportunity to show the community a clearer idea of the work that is going on at TCMC,” stated President and Dean, Robert D’Alessandri, MD.

Several important announcements were part of the presentations on the site of the new medical school including the first clinical chairman for the College - Janet Townsend, the Vice President, Social Justice and Diversity – Ida L. Castro, the granting by the Pennsylvania Department of Education of TCMC’s “degree granting authority” and an additional gift from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania for $45 million to help pay for the Medical Sciences Building.

“At Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, we are deeply committed to improving the access, quality and affordability of healthcare in our region. At the heart of our vision is a new model in which local hospitals, physicians, educational institutions, health insurers and the residents of NEPA work together to develop actionable solutions for this region. Supporting The Commonwealth Medical College fits perfectly with this long term goal. A new generation of locally educated and locally trained physicians, schooled with cutting edge knowledge and technology, will make a significant difference in the health and wellness of not only our 600,000 members, but of all the 1.2 million residents of northeastern Pennsylvania for years to come,” said Denise S. Cesare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The future Medical Sciences Building is expected to open in 2011 and will eventually serve more than 500 medical and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) students and 175 full-time equivalent faculty members, plus support personnel. The permanent site will include 185,000 square feet of space for classrooms, student support space and research facilities. The building is expected to cost $115 million.

The College will be using the temporary facilities at Lackawanna College for the first two years of classes with an anticipated open in 2009 with approximately 60 students. Initial funding of a $35 million grant came in 2006 from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program; $25 million leadership grant from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; state, federal and private philanthropic sources. Additionally Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania further supported the movement to increase the number of physicians in northeastern Pennsylvania and committed $45 million to the medical school’s development. A 2008 community capital campaign with a goal of $200 million has been suggested and is expected to be raised by 2014. The College is seeking scholarship support for the charter class at $20,000 a student for each of the four years of school.

During the campus tour, faculty and staff from the medical school offered demonstrations and presentations that included some of the state-art-the-art technology that they will be using as part of the curriculum at the medical school. A portion of the presentations and demonstrations included a tour of the Gross Anatomy Lab, details on the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program and the Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) Program and the tour of the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center where the public was invited to a demonstration from the patient simulators in the center. The simulators are used for team training and possess realistic anatomy and clinical functionality. They provide simulation-based education to challenge and test students’ clinical and decision-making skills during realistic patient care scenarios.