TYLER, Texas — The first medical school in East Texas history was approved on Thursday, Nov. 18, by the UT System Board of Regents.
UT Tyler's medical school will be located on a 5.37 acre stretch off of South Beckham Ave and will serve multiple functions according to Kevin Eltife, chair of the UT System Board of Regents.
“Acquiring land for the medical education building is yet another important milestone toward the establishment of the medical school and to transform healthcare in Northeast Texas,” said Eltife. “The enormity of the medical school for the people of East Texas requires that we remain diligent and focused as we act with all deliberate speed to open the medical school. The real estate acquisition is one of those major steps forward."
The building will facilitate clinical research and have a residency program.
Pending the accreditation approval, the medical school expects to welcome its inaugural class of 40 students in June 2023. Earlier this month, the R. W. Fair Foundation of Tyler announced a $4 million commitment to fund four-year scholarships for the entire inaugural medical school class.
Nearby businesses anticipate even more foot traffic.
Christopher Rutherford, night manager with Grandy's, said, “With the college back here and the hospitals, we already get a lot of business from them. So any more foot traffic that's coming through here just means more people to come through and check us out.”
He said the only hurdle to get over with more customers will be having the staff to serve them.
Rutherford added, “How do I make sure that the customer gets their food in a timely fashion without having to kill the few employees that I have that show up?”
In a statement, Tom Mullins, former president and CEO of the Tyler Economic Development Council said the council can anticipate the new school would produce an additional 1.9 billion dollars annually - as well as create more than 18,000 new jobs.
He said these developments are unlike anything Tyler has ever seen.
The medical school is the seventh in the UT system.
The Board of Regents recently invested $95 million in new educational and clinical facilities at UT Tyler, and the Texas Legislature has committed more than $100 million in funding for health and science facilities at UT Tyler campuses. An $80 million gift from the East Texas Medical Center Foundation helped launch the acceleration of the medical school plans last year.