Last spring, Xavier University of Louisiana announced that it is entering the planning phase to establish a Graduate School of Health Sciences and a medical school. For decades, Xavier has consistently produced more African American students and students of color who obtain medical degrees and Ph.D.’s in the health sciences than any other higher education institution in the nation.
Now the university has announced that it will open a medical school in partnership with Ochsner Health. The nonprofit Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with more than 36,000 employees and over 4,600 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 47 hospitals and more than 370 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Gulf South. This new initiative builds on a long-standing partnership between Ochsner and Xavier that dates to the early 1980s, when Ochsner and Xavier’s College of Pharmacy came together to offer more clinical training sites for pharmacy students.
To launch the College of Medicine, Ochsner and Xavier will form a nonprofit corporation, create a new curriculum and use facilities, personnel, and administrative processes of both institutions. The new College of Medicine will be governed by a board of directors nominated by Ochsner and Xavier, with each institution appointing an equal number of directors.
“With their historic agreement to establish a College of Medicine at one of the nation’s top HBCUs, Xavier and Ochsner have heeded the call to shape the health of the state, the country, and the world for generations to come,” said Anne McCall, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of Xavier University of Louisiana.
Xavier will be the fifth HBCU medical school. The other HBCU medical schools are Meharry Medical College in Nashville, the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. Morgan State University in Baltimore has also announced that it will open a medical school.