(ATHENS, Ohio — July 10, 2015) First-year medical student Andrew
Goldblum of Beachwood, Ohio, is a perfect example of the type of
person the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
wants to reach with its new campus in Cleveland. Goldblum received
his bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta before
returning to his home in northeast Ohio for medical school.
day that Heritage College leaders are calling a major milestone for
the 40-year-old college, Goldblum and 50 other new medical students
arrived for their first classes on Wednesday, July 8, at the new
Ohio University campus in the Cleveland area.
The new site – which brings the number of Heritage College
campuses to three – is a partnership with Cleveland Clinic, the
college’s long-time teaching affiliate. The school is located within
the campus of Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville
Heights. This new endeavor builds on Cleveland Clinic’s success in
delivering value-based, patient-centered care and the Heritage
College’s proven track record of producing high-quality, empathic
primary care physicians.
“This is truly a historic moment, and you’re making history for
us,” Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., told
the incoming class of 2019 at the Heritage College, Cleveland.
Goldblum said he believes having an opportunity as a student to
work with patients in the Cleveland area will be the perfect
preparation for someone who wants to practice here after graduation.
“If you train here, you just really get a deeper sense of what
the area needs,” he said. This will be true even for first-years, he
added, given that the campus sits inside an excellent working
“When we walk in, patients are all around us,” he noted. “It
teaches us to behave as professionals right off the bat.”
One major aim of the new campus is to recruit students from
within northeast Ohio, with the knowledge that if they train and
complete their residencies in the area, they will be more likely to
remain there to practice after they graduate. The medical school’s
expansion into northeast Ohio – brining the college’s overall class
size of 240, the largest in the school’s history – is intended to
address the need for more first-line physicians and for providing
care where it’s needed most, in underserved urban and rural
communities throughout the state.
“We are changing the way health care is going to be taught and
the way it’s going to be delivered,” said J. Stephen Jones, M.D.,
president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and Family Health
Centers. “This partnership fits together perfectly with the Heritage
College’s leadership in primary care education and Cleveland
Clinic’s reputation in specialty care.”
Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D., said, “This
expansion of our long-standing partnership with the Cleveland Clinic
is good for Ohio University and Cleveland Clinic, good for the
medical students in our Heritage College, and ultimately, good for
the citizens of Ohio who will benefit from the compassionate,
high-quality health care our graduates have been providing for over
three decades. This collaboration will help increase access to care,
stimulate medical innovation and improve the economic health of
communities in northeast Ohio, as well as across Ohio and the
Within the next decade, experts predict a national shortage of
more than 45,000 primary care physicians.
The college is working closely with Cleveland Clinic and other
area health care providers to ensure that clinical training slots
are available for students at the Heritage College, Cleveland. Of
the 51 students in the Cleveland class of 2019, all but one come
from within Ohio, and over 70 percent are from the northeastern part
of the state.
Many students indicated that a desire to serve their home region
was a big factor in their choosing the school. “I was born in
Cleveland,” said student Ariel Moore. “So this kind of starts my
journey of giving back to my community.”
Students began their studies in Cleveland on Wednesday after two
days of orientation on the college’s Athens campus. As they entered
the newly renovated building, Cleveland campus Dean Isaac J.
Kirstein, D.O., greeted them like old friends. “Come on in, guys!”
Kirstein declared, as he beckoned some uncertain-looking students to
come forward. “This is your school. Your school.”
On hand to welcome students were Johnson, Kirstein and Robert S.
Juhasz, D.O., who is president of both Cleveland Clinic South Pointe
Hospital and the American Osteopathic Association. Before any
orientation training got underway, they, and members of the campus
faculty and staff, took time to meet and greet the students
Students appreciated the hospitable atmosphere, and some said the
close-knit feel of the college was one of its biggest assets.
“Everyone is just so welcoming, and you just feel part of the
family,” said Michelle Sergi. “That is so important to me, coming
from a small town near Youngstown.”
On their first day in Cleveland, Juhasz reminded students that
their presence in the campus’s first-ever class earns them a special
chapter in the 40-year-old college’s ongoing story, and in the
evolving story of American health care.
“As you look back at this day, you’ll realize you made history,”