Colorado will get a new osteopathic medical school at UNC Greeley

BY FREDA MIKLIN
GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER

The planned University of Northern Colorado College (UNC) of Osteopathic Medicine became a reality when Governor Polis signed HB24-1231 State Funding for Higher Education Projects this week. The new law provides $127.5 million to get the program up and running, along with funding for three other health education programs in the state.

This is a rendering of the future UNC College of Osteopathic Medicine.

According to the fiscal note accompanying the legislation, “The bill directs the State Treasurer to execute a lease-purchase agreement of about $247 million total by December 31, 2024, to fund capital construction projects related to health care education for the construction” of the osteopathic college and:

Construction of the Health Institute Tower at Metropolitan State University of Denver; 

Construction of the Veterinary Health Education Complex at Colorado State University; 

Renovation of the Valley Campus Main Building at Trinidad State College.

The path for UNC College of Osteopathic Medicine began two years ago when SB22-056 UNC Osteopathic Medicine Degrees was signed into law on March 17, 2022 authorizing the new medical school as an exception to the exclusive authority in medicine held by the University of Colorado’s health science campus. 

In addition to financing the construction of facilities for all four medical education projects listed above, this year’s bill also includes $41 million for UNC to finance the costs of the accreditation process for the new osteopathic school. 

The funding bill, whose prime sponsors were Senators Kyle Mullica (D-24) and Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-23), along with Representatives Mary Young (D-50) and Lindsey Daugherty (D-24), says that the new medical college “will enroll 150 graduate-level medical students in a four-year medical degree program every year,” to address “the urgent need to train providers for rural and other underserved communities.” UNC hopes to admit its first class in Fall 2026.

UNC College of Osteopathic Medicine will be the state’s third school of medicine.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora was established as the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1883 in Boulder. The school moved to 9th & Colorado Boulevard in Denver in 1924 and relocated to its present home in stages beginning in 2004, taking the name of Philip Anschutz in 2006 to honor the sizable donations he and his wife made to the campus.

Rocky Vista University (RVU) is a private osteopathic medical school located at 8401 S. Chambers Road in Englewood. The nation’s only for-profit medical school, RVU admitted it’s first class in 2008 and has additional locations in Utah and Montana. 

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