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James Nemitz, president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (left), and Jerome Gilbert, president of Marshall University, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the two institutions' collaboration Monday at Marshall's South Charleston campus.

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

SOUTH CHARLESTON — Marshall University, through its Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine announced Monday a memorandum of understanding that will allow for collaborative medical education efforts between osteopathic and allopathic programs at each institution.

Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert and WVSOM President James Nemitz signed the agreement at Marshall’s South Charleston campus. Both higher education institutions share the goal of advancing first-class medical education in West Virginia and improving access to quality physician care in communities throughout the Mountain State, according to a news release.

“For years, we have partnered with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine on providing quality clinical education for their students in our region,” Gilbert said in a release. “This agreement formalizes our relationship and paves the way for a more integrated, collaborative framework that will continue to ensure a top-notch clinical experience for all medical students and better access to physicians for citizens in the southern part of our state.”

The agreement states the schools will work to develop and expand clinical rotations for medical students at institutions associated with the Mountain Health Network, a regional health system comprising three hospitals, and explore opportunities to enhance residency placement for graduates.

“I believe the signing of this memorandum of understanding will result in a stronger collaboration between Marshall University and WVSOM that will increase opportunities for the benefit of our students and the citizens of West Virginia,” Nemitz said.

Marshall and WVSOM will also advocate jointly on issues of mutual interest before the West Virginia Legislature, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and other governmental bodies.

HEPC chair Michael J. Farrell attended Monday’s signing. He said the collaboration is an important step for the state. He said the HEPC strongly endorses the partnership.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.