The proposed school is expected to have an economic impact of $75 to $100 million annually in Fort Smith, according to Mayor Sandy Sanders.
"I extend our thanks to the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation for its leadership and substantial investment in the health and economic well being of
Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma," said Sanders.
The Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation committed $58 million in funds to the project. Area Hospitals are partnering with the Osteopathic Medical School by providing student rotations and residencies.
Leaders say Arkansas and Oklahoma continually rank near the bottom of physician accessibility in the United States, and the new medical school will dramatically help improve healthcare in the region.
"To our foundation it's not about building a school, it's about recognizing needs and using our resources to fulfill them," says Tom Webb, Executive Director of the Regional Healthcare Foundation.
The Osteopathic Medical School is set to open in 2017 with 150 students coming to campus for the inaugural class.