Thursday, September 13, 2018



Marist, Health Quest announce medical school plans

Architect's rendering of medical school building

POUGHKEEPSIE – Marist College and Health Quest announced on Wednesday a groundbreaking partnership that will result in the first college in the Mid-Hudson Valley to offer medical doctor (MD) degrees.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, which operates a campus in the City of Middletown, offers DO degrees.

The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine is expected to enroll its first class in 2022. Once the project, which will be located on the Vassar Brothers Medical Center campus in Poughkeepsie, is approved and completed, it will create more than 100 full-time and additional part-time opportunities.

Health Quest Chief Executive Officer Robert Friedberg said there have been “exploratory conversations to see what the interest was for this fairly ambitious endeavor to create a medical school in this community.” He said those conversations “went quite well.”

The need for a medical school in the region was apparent, as there are only 151 medical schools in the entire country. Additionally, the ratio of college graduates accepted to medical schools is 100:1. Marist Health Quest School of Medicine is expected to take in 60 students for its inaugural class.

While college President David Yellen did not set out to establish a medical school initially in his term, he is elated to have made this announcement now.

“I don’t believe a word was discussed during my interviews for the job,” Yellen said. “Then around two weeks in, [board member of both Marist College and Health Quest] Rob Dyson asked me to come into a meeting with Health Quest. One meeting led to another, and two years later, here we are.”

Yellen said the medical school plans on offering its students a modern approach to physician education through incorporating artificial intelligence technology.

“We’re confident that this pioneering collaboration will have significant positive impact on both the Hudson Valley and the future of healthcare,” he said. “It’s going to result in a forward-looking medical school that combines the rigors of traditional of medical training with the power of cutting-edge artificial intelligence.”

Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison was thrilled about the project. “There’s only 151 [medical schools] in the entire United States, so the fact there is going to be one in the Hudson Valley is a big thing,” he said. “To say we’re actually going to do it is exciting for all of us.”

Construction on the school is expected to take three years. Once it begins, a leadership team, dean and faculty will be assembled. The project will cost $110 million in operational costs and $75 million in building costs.

The partnership will seek approvals from the national accrediting body for medical education programs – the Liaison Committee on Medical Education – as well as the New York State Education Department and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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