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Creating the vision for robust Medical Education, Research and Life Sciences industry growth in the Spokane region

We are providing community leadership to create and execute the vision for a comprehensive, world-class, center of academic health sciences medical education, and life sciences research and commercialization resulting in robust life sciences industry growth with unprecedented economic impact to the Spokane region. This vision, targeting full build out by 2030, encompasses expanded undergraduate and graduate medical education; health and life sciences research, commercialization and business development; and community health care. It has the potential to transform our local economy by building on our community’s largest economic driver – healthcare.






This project is the single largest Economic Development opportunity for our region
Vision 2030 is an economic development strategy underway that will create robust healthcare and life sciences industry growth and an annual economic impact of more than $1.7 billion annually and over 9,000 jobs for our region by 2030. This initiative, led by GSI in partnership with business, healthcare, and education sectors, includes the expansion of world-class undergraduate and graduate medical education, allied health professions, and health and life sciences research and commercialization and has the ability to transform our local economy by building on our community’s largest economic driver – healthcare.

The need for a robust medical and health sciences education system in the Spokane region
Why Spokane? Our region is experiencing a growing shortage of primary care physicians, particularly in rural and underserved areas in eastern Washington. Spokane has all the building blocks for creating a robust medical education and research center. Our region has a dense proximity of six higher education institutions, a unique collaboration between institutions and close proximity to the University District. Vision 2030 will serve as a catalyst for new research and commercialization, new employment opportunities, will spur innovation and startups, grow household income and the health of our community and individuals within our community.

How is GSI leading the comprehensive vision for our region?
As the lead business development organization in the region, GSI has been working for over a decade with community and higher education partners to shape the comprehensive vision. GSI provides community leadership and strategic oversight. GSI’s work to advance Vision 2030 includes everything from providing state and federal legislative advocacy for the expansion of undergraduate and graduate medical education, to working to fill the health sciences workforce gap in our community. 

  • Four-Year Undergraduate Medical Education: Four-year medical education serves as a foundation for an integrated strategy that addresses our region’s critical shortage of physicians, provides more opportunities for Washington students seeking medical education and creates the basic infrastructure for realizing full economic impact. WSU Health Sciences Spokane is creating a new, independently accredited four-year medical school and has begun the process of accreditation. UW School of Medicine is partnering with Gonzaga University and is expanding its current WWAMI four-year medical school program in Spokane.
  • Graduate Medical Education (Residencies): Graduate Medical Education (GME), the required education following receipt of an MD, is the most influential aspect for a physician choosing the place to practice medicine. In order to address our region’s primary care physician shortage, it’s critical to grow the number of resident positions as Spokane’s four-year medical school programs expand.
  • Research & Life Sciences Industry Growth: The growth of academic and industry research in health and life sciences and the resulting growth in the life sciences commercial sector with spin-off opportunities in healthcare and in other industries is a critical component of achieving the 2030 economic impact projections.

What's next?
GSI has established an Executive Leadership Council and four committees of GSI board members and key stakeholders that are tasked with forwarding the expansion of health sciences education, graduate medical education, life sciences research and commercialization, and branding/communications & fund development. These key economic development strategies increase research and life sciences business development opportunities, including startups, recruitments and expansions.

Health Sciences Education Expansion

  •  Support expansion of four-year medical education at WSU and UW/GU • Expand other health sciences workforce professions to meet workforce gaps
  • Support K-12 & STEM initiatives to address health sciences education pipeline
  • Address gaps in facilities & infrastructure to support growing to capacity
  • Provide state and legislative advocacy

Graduate Medical Education Expansion

  • Expand primary care & targeted residency programs in Spokane & Eastern WA
  • Support residency expansion efforts of key stakeholders including the Spokane Teaching Health Center consortium partners, VA Hospital and the University of Washington
  • Support innovative funding sources and mechanisms
  • Evaluate long-term oversight of GME expansion progress
  • Develop a comprehensive and inclusive legislative approach

Life Sciences Research and Commercialization 

  • Develop strategies for growth in academic & industry research
  • Build capacity in commercialization assets & resources
  • Develop targeted life sciences recruitment strategies
  • Enhance infrastructure capacity in support of industry growth
  • Increase funding sources for developing companies (i.e. venture capital, equity funding, etc.)
  • Create a life sciences entrepreneurial culture in the region
  • Support & partner in University District development
  • Assess priority focus for efforts within the life sciences sectors of technology, biotech & bioengineering, health/wellness, services & products

Branding, Communications & Fund Development

  • Develop branding & communications strategies
  • Support the development of community branding & outreach strategies for an entrepreneurial & life sciences industry culture
  • Lead fund development strategies

To learn more contact: Stacia Rasmussen, Business Manager at 509.321-3637.