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UK to develop medical school regional campus in partnership with NKU and St. Elizabeth Healthcare

LEXINGTON (Feb. 27, 2017)—The University of Kentucky College of Medicine announced Monday plans to develop a regional medical school campus in northern Kentucky for four-year medical education. The program is the third regional medical school campus announced by UK designed to increase the overall number of physicians in the commonwealth. Four-year regional campuses have been proposed in Bowling Green and Morehead; the campus at Bowling Green is projected to begin enrolling students in 2018, and Morehead sometime thereafter.

The newest UK College of Medicine initiative will be in partnership with Northern Kentucky University and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Currently, the UK College of Medicine is at its capacity at the Lexington campus and although there is a deep applicant pool for medical students, the college can’t expand enrollment without the help of regional partners, said Dr. Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK College of Medicine. “This series of partnerships that now expands throughout Kentucky will benefit everyone across the commonwealth.”

“In Kentucky we have a shortage of physicians, especially primary care physicians, throughout the state,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “As the University for Kentucky, we are working in close partnership with leading universities in our state and regional medical centers to directly respond to this need. Additionally, this collaboration will allow us to expand college of medicine enrollment in a manner that effectively and efficiently utilizes existing resources throughout the state.”

While details of the broad-based initiative are still being ironed out, UK officials have signed a memorandum of understanding with the partners.

Currently, the UK College of Medicine enrolls 547 students including 139 in the most recent admitted class—the Class of 2020.

UK plans to increase its class size through expansion to these regional campus locations. Local advisory committees will recommend students for admission to the program.

“NKU is proud to have the opportunity to partner with the University of Kentucky and St. Elizabeth Healthcare to leverage our individual strengths and the power of our brands to bring professional medical education to northern Kentucky,” said NKU President Geoffrey Mearns. “Among other things, this medical school campus at NKU will help us further the mission of our Health Innovation Center to improve the health of the people that we serve.”

The UK COM-Northern Kentucky campus will be a fully functioning four-year campus, utilizing the exact same curriculum and assessments as UK’s Lexington campus. On-site faculty will have UK College of Medicine appointments and teach in small groups and provide simulation/standardized patient experiences with lectures delivered on-site from Lexington utilizing educational technology. Additionally, clinical experiences will occur at St. Elizabeth Healthcare and surrounding community practices.

“This collaboration between St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and Northern Kentucky University beautifully complements St. Elizabeth’s vision of leading northern Kentucky to become one of the healthiest communities in America,” said Garren Colvin, president and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Combined with our support of the NKU Health Innovation Center and the recent opening of the St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center, we are incredibly proud to be involved in educating generations of local, bright, talented individuals and helping shape them into the medical leaders of our future.”

About University of Kentucky
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses, and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the commonwealth, visit
About St. Elizabeth Healthcare
St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates seven facilities throughout northern Kentucky and more than 115 primary care and specialty office locations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. St. Elizabeth is sponsored by the Diocese of Covington and is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. St. Elizabeth is a mission-based organization committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, providing more than $104 million in uncompensated care and benefit to the community in 2015. For more information, visit
About Northern Kentucky University
Northern Kentucky University is a major metropolitan university enrolling more than 14,000 associate, undergraduate, graduate, professional, and doctoral students in six colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Haile/US Bank College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Health Professions, the College of Informatics, and the Chase College of Law. Located just 7 minutes south of downtown Cincinnati, NKU’s innovative academic programs and strong commitment to student success both in the classroom and beyond have helped the university earn the designation of one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes magazine for eight consecutive years. To learn more visit its website.

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