Buies Creek, N.C. - According to a study conducted by N.C. State Economist Mike Walden, Campbell University’s proposed School of Osteopathic Medicine, opening in 2013, will bring nearly $300 million and 1,150 jobs to Harnett County in its first 10 years. But the school’s value in terms of quality of life for the community will be even greater, predicts Dr. John Kauffman, dean of the school.
Kauffman said there is no question about the new medical school’s significance to Harnett County.
An assessment by the National Center for the Analysis of Healthcare Data states that 60 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties report a shortage of primary care physicians and over 30 percent have no practicing obstetrics and gynecological physicians at all. Unfortunately, Harnett County’s healthcare scenario compares with that of most of the state. The 2010 Community Health Assessment for Harnett County points out that there were only 3.9 primary care physicians for every 10,000 people in the county in 2009. A total of 19.3 percent of the population lived in poverty and 22.3 percent, ages 18-64, were without heath insurance.
“The point is that Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine is going to train physicians and residents here, in a rural setting, where there is a good chance they will stay,” Kauffman said. “Our mission is rural, underserved and global. Therefore, we’re focused on supplying primary care physicians to Harnett County and rural areas of North Carolina, as well as sending missionary doctors overseas.”
The plan for the School of Osteopathic Medicine at Campbell also includes clinical campuses near several underserved areas. By developing training programs in rural areas, Campbell also hopes to draw physicians to these counties, Kauffman said.
“Harnett County is representative of the significant health care needs of North Carolina,” Kauffman said. “Why not get some of those resources here through a new medical school that will focus on this community.” Speaking of Campbell’s commitment to assist in easing North Carolina’s health care needs, University President Dr. Jerry M. Wallace cited the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, established in 1985 and offering the Doctor of Pharmacy and masters degrees in Clinical Research and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Physician Assistant program, slated to receive its first students this fall.
“In view of this long-standing commitment, it is a natural next step for Campbell to establish a College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Wallace said.
The proposed Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine will be the second largest medical school in the state behind the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the only school of Osteopathic medicine in the state, said Wallace. By its fourth year, the enrollment is projected to be about 600 students.
Photo Copy: Dr. John Kauffman, dean of Campbell’s proposed School of Osteopathic Medicine