Leaders of the University of Illinois College of Medicine have a plan that could double the size of the Rockford campus... and provide hundreds of new opportunities for people looking for a career related to medicine.
"We're excited because this is a project we've talked about for many years and it really looks like this project is no longer a matter of if but when," Dean Martin Lipsky said.
Dean Lipsky is kicking off an $18 million campaign to expand Rockford's college of medicine. When completed, the school will also be a pharmacy college. It will train 200 students to be pharmacists in Rockford... with classes of 50 graduating every year.
"There's a shortage of pharmacists in this area, about .6 pharmacists per one-thousand capita in Rockford which is way below the national average," Dr. Lipsky said.
The new building would have a classroom that could hold 100 students with advancements in technology.
"They do a good job of teaching us things but we need more instruments to help us learn, and the new extension will have a lot of that," Yogi Patel said, a medical student.
The expansion would make room for an extra 75 med-students like Yogi Patel and Nate Compton. Their training already impacts our patient care at all hospitals and many clinics throughout the stateline.
"It makes more care available to patients around because they're not only having the attendings and nurses checking on them they're also having medical students work with them so they're getting multiple people checking on them. There's a lot more chance for them to ask questions," Compton said.
School leaders hope the expansion could improve the health care of everyone they serve in the stateline.