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So you want to be a doctor!  GMU Manassas campus gets $50,000 grant for med school feasibility study

Prince William County has awarded a $50,000 grant to kick-off a Medical School Feasibility and Planning Study by George Mason University

this month.  The Claude Moore Foundation has contributed $200,000 and the university will cover the remaining costs and conduct the study, with preliminary results anticipated in early fall.

Prince William County holds the distinction of being home to Mason’s Science and Technology Campus in Innovation Park

- the only university-anchored corporate park in Northern Virginia. 

The impetus for the study is driven by accelerated growth in the healthcare industry in the County, as evidenced most recently in Kaiser Permanente’s

growing footprint and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s continued expansions, along with the Novant Health UVA Health System


Last year, the County’s Targeted Industry

Study reaffirmed it as a choice location for: pharmaceutical-research; drug development and manufacturing; medical and diagnostic devices; personalized medicine; bioinformatics; proteomics; nanotechnology; medical networks; large sports and preventative medical practices and large specialty practices; laboratory testing facilities; and health care providers focused on translational research.  The study also forecast that health expenditures are expected to grow at a compound rate of 6.1% through 2020, reaching $4.3 trillion.

Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors said: “The benefits of a university-research based medical school here in Prince William County are profound.  It will not only increase educational opportunities and high-wage jobs for our residents, thereby further strengthening our talent pipeline, but it will be a significant move forward in leveraging the synergistic business opportunities that already exist here.”

The GMU campus in Prince William County provides several advantages as it already has a pre-med program with readily available laboratories and the classroom space needed to meet Mason’s goal of accreditation by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 2021, at the earliest.  An initial assessment by Mason estimated a first year medical school class of 30-50 students and the engagement of 50-70 faculty.  The study will further define the needed investments and prospective sources of funding, as well as establish the clinical networks necessary to support the medical school.

Chris M. Price, Prince William County Deputy County Executive and the Interim Executive Director of the county’s Department of Economic Development was quoted as saying in a news release, “This is an important initiative that supports our mission of cultivating a robust economy, driving innovation for our existing and new businesses and achieving more economic opportunities

that provide quality jobs.”

The Prince William County Department of Economic Development

staff will further aid the study by providing strategic plans, industry analyses, as well as, engage with Mason to identify service linkages and alignments within the life science, health, information technology and related industries.

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