Riverside: UCR Officially Opens First Medical School Building
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – More than 200 community members and campus officials participated in the March 18 opening of the School of Medicine Research Building, which will also serve as a model for sustainable laboratory design at the University of California, Riverside.
“Across the country, there are 15 new medical schools in various stages of development. But there is only one of these new schools with such vigorous and unanimous community support – and that is the new school we are building here in Inland Southern California,” founding medical school Dean G. Richard Olds, M.D. told the gathering. “Your presence here is emblematic of the partnership between the community and the university to expand the physician workforce and, especially, to improve health care access to our underserved communities.”
Olds, an expert in international health, infectious disease and parasitology, said the UCR School of Medicine is on track to enroll its first class of students in August 2012. The first public medical school opened in California in more than 40 years will train a diverse workforce of physicians who are more likely to live and practice in the communities where they receive their training.
Among the speakers at the official unveiling was Herb K. Schultz, regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “There is nothing like education and training that is homegrown and to keep these providers in the community they grew up in. That is what I think the UCR School of Medicine will be able to show the rest of the country,” Schultz said. “On behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I offer hearty congratulations.”
Schultz, UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White and other speakers thanked members of the greater Inland Southern California region from government, the philanthropic community, and medical, non-profit and business communities for support of the School of Medicine.
“I want to acknowledge the extraordinary and generous support of the Riverside community, the vision and commitment of Chancellor White, and the courage and tenacity of Dean Olds, and convey the thanks and support of the University of California Office of the President,” said Dr. John D. Stobo, the senior vice president for health sciences and services for the University of California.
White spoke of the medical school as establishing a legacy for the future. “It’s about knowing a need for tomorrow and being able to fight for that because it is so important to the community. This is about California, Californians and our future,” he said.
Dr. Steve Larson, the Chairman and CEO of Riverside Medical Clinic, closed the formal program: “Working together, we can make it happen. If I could steal a phrase, this is just what the doctors ordered.”
The three-floor School of Medicine Research Building is approximately 58,000 square feet and designed to meet the LEED Silver sustainability standards of the U.S. Green Building Council. It utilizes natural daylighting and a “night flushing” cooling system to take advantage of cool nighttime air, thereby reducing energy usage for air conditioning. A portion of the building materials have recycled content and the landscaping is water-efficient.
The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment has exceeded 20,500 students. The campus will open a medical school in 2012 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.