As a dispersed Northwest Washington community, our support for Washington State University’s 2019-21 legislative request for $14.4 million reflects our commitment to respond to the state’s overwhelming need to educate more doctors who will practice in Washington state. The university’s request is to complete funding for third- and fourth-year medical students and add 20 students statewide each year.
Our region, like others across the state, is in dire need of new physicians who will practice locally. The Legislature and Gov. Inslee authorized the establishment the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in response to the state’s health care crisis. The College of Medicine response begins to address huge disparities and equity issues associated with access to health care providers.
Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine students are our students; so far, 100 percent are from the state of Washington. They come from underserved rural and urban areas from Snohomish County to Gray’s Harbor, San Juans to Tri-Cities. One-third are first-generation college students, one-third are students of color, more than one-third are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and more than half are women.
Third- and fourth-year medical students go to one of 85 partnering hospitals and clinics around the state to train. Locally, among those partners, are Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, The Everett Clinic, Sea Mar Community Health and Tulalip Tribal Health Clinic.
We ask you urge our lawmakers to fulfill this request and make a major impact on health care access and equity in our region and state for generations.
Patrick J. McClain
Chairman, WSU-Everett Advisory Council