As the academic anchor of the Innovation Quarter, the economic benefits of having Wake Forest School of Medicine are evident in a city like Winston-Salem. For years, Charlotte has been the largest city in the U.S. without a four-year medical school. That’s about to change.
Leaders from Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest University announced they’ve chosen a 20-acre site in midtown Charlotte, at the current corner of South McDowell Street and Baxter Street, adjacent to US-277. The location creates a strategic connection between Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center to the south and uptown Charlotte to the north.
The new Wake Forest School of Medicine campus in Charlotte will feature unique, experiential learning spaces and opportunities for diverse types of students to interact and learn together, and the corridor created between Winston-Salem and Charlotte will create a magnet for healthtech innovation that will benefit this region economically.
“This location for Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Charlotte campus will provide our students the perfect mix of expertise,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D., chief academic officer for Atrium Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “And with the latest technology, whether students are learning in Winston-Salem or this new, second campus, their immersive experience will be second to none. In addition to having the opportunity to learn from some of the finest minds in academia and take part in life-changing research, Wake Forest School of Medicine students and residents will have easy access to the renowned experts practicing at our combined world-class service lines across multiple specialties.”
In addition to the new location, Atrium President and CEO Gene Woods announced the Bishop George E. Battle Jr. Scholarship Fund, which will help students from underserved communities continue their medical education. The scholarship is named for Bishop Battle, an emeritus member of the Atrium Health Board of Commissioners and Atrium Health Foundation Board, who has led efforts for affordable housing, parks, small businesses and extracurricular programs throughout community, including in Biddleville-Five Points, a historically Black community in West Charlotte.
With an initial seeding of $5 million from Atrium Health, the scholarship fund will seek a total of $10 million in funding through community support by the time the School of Medicine campus in Charlotte opens in 2024.
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