For over a year, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) has been taking important steps towards opening a School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio. During this time, three locations for the school have been under consideration. In January, UIW signed an agreement with the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) to explore a location for the school at the site of Fox Tech High School's unused football fields. Building at this location has always depended upon significant private donations over a relatively short time-frame. With this in mind, UIW has done due diligence to explore the feasibility of building at that downtown location and has recently decided against pursuing this option.
UIW intends to move forward with a 2016 school opening date and obtain preliminary program accreditation. By the end of this spring, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation process requires that UIW identify a specific and exact location for the future school. UIW has determined that two locations, Datapoint Drive, in conjunction with UIW's existing School of Optometry, and Brooks City Base present viable alternatives to SAISD and would allow UIW to move forward on accreditation and maximize the resources needed to build the school.
"The downtown SAISD location would require the university to build from the ground up on limited space while the other two locations have existing facilities and more space," said UIW Chancellor Denise Doyle. "In whichever of the two locations our medical school ultimately is built, the mission of the school remains to extend medical education in San Antonio and South Texas."
"Our goal is to create opportunities for the students of San Antonio, including SAISD, to benefit from this new medical school," said Doyle. "Our Founding Dean, Dr. Robyn Madson, will reach out to SAISD and other area school districts to determine how the medical school can work to promote the possibility of medical education in their students' lives."
"While we are disappointed that this project will not come to fruition at the Fox Tech campus, we wish UIW well on this endeavor wherever the new school ends up," said SAISD Superintendent Dr. Sylvester Perez. "For our part, we will continue to pursue an educational partnership with UIW to benefit our students, and separately we will explore other viable options for our surplus property at that campus."