ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Local leaders, state lawmakers, and regents from the University of Minnesota all gathered in St. Cloud Monday morning to witness a signing ceremony for a new medical school.

The first new medical school in Minnesota in 50 years will be in St. Cloud and is a partnership between CentraCare and the U of M.

Photo by's Jim Maurice
Photo by's Jim Maurice

University of Minnesota Medical School Dean Jakub Tolar calls the signing a 'monumental moment in healthcare for the state of Minnesota'.

This will be the U's third medical school campus.

We have one in the Twin Cities that trains 176 physicians every year, we have one in Duluth that trains 65 physicians every year, with this St. Cloud campus we will add 24 physicians every year, this is monumental.

Tolar says they will be adding 10 percent to the physician workforce by the end of the decade in the state of Minnesota.

CentraCare President and CEO Ken Holman says they are planning to add a quarter of a billion dollars in investments to the Healthcare Plaza campus in the next five years to support the medical school.

Six months into a public fundraising campaign CentraCare has raised $10.5 million so far.

The 2023 Minnesota State Legislature awarded a total of $15 million in state money toward the project.  The city and CentraCare are asking the State Legislature for another $13 million bonding money in the 2024 session to help pay for renovations to the building.

Tolar says the partnership between his school and CentraCare is very unique.

Which is a public medical school with a nonprofit healthcare system.  It's unique, I looked around the United States it never existed it doesn't exist and I'm sort of proud of that because it's a Minnesota model for others.

Tolar says the concept is to get medical students from greater Minnesota, train them in greater Minnesota, and keep them in greater Minnesota.

Tolar says the U of M Medical School is ranked as the #8 public medical school in the United States, so he doesn't think they'll have a problem attracting students.

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He says they will not be adding any new professors right away and will be using faculty they already have at their Twin Cities and Duluth campuses.


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