The Medical Center hosts Groundbreaking for UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus

Architect's rendering of the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus.

Groundbreaking for the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus took place Tuesday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. at The Medical Center at Bowling Green. This four-year, regional campus medical school is the first of its kind in Kentucky and is a partnership between The Medical Center, the University of Kentucky, and Western Kentucky University.” 

Through this investment in education, we are continuing to increase access to quality health care—and ensuring that we have the physicians available to take care of generations to come,” said Connie Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Med Center Health. “We have always had a commitment to bringing the best in health care to our communities. This medical school is going to raise the bar even higher as we increase opportunities for research and technology, and adhere to the latest in evidence-based practice.” 

The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus will be a fully functioning campus, utilizing the exact same curriculum and assessments as UK’s Lexington campus. On-site faculty will have UK College of Medicine appointments and teach in small groups and provide simulation/standardized patient experiences with lectures delivered on-site from Lexington utilizing educational technology. Additionally, clinical experiences will occur at The Medical Center at Bowling Green and surrounding community practices. 

“At the University of Kentucky,” UK President Eli Capilouto said, “we know that working together—across disciplines and across the Commonwealth—is the best way to ensure real, positive change for those we serve. This collaboration will allow us to effectively and efficiently utilize existing resources throughout the state to meet this important need for more physicians and greater access to health care.”
“This partnership helps ensure our state will remain competitive as the landscape of health care changes,” said Dr. Robert DiPaola, Dean of the UK College of Medicine. “It also signals a new beginning in the efforts to train more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky, and especially a new beginning for our future students as they embark on this journey and career in medicine. It is an honor to celebrate this milestone with our partners in developing the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus.” 

Basic science and early didactic training will be taught in conjunction with faculty at WKU through both onsite classes and distance education methods in accordance with UK College of Medicine curricular protocols. 

“We have been working for many years in conjunction with The Medical Center at Bowling Green to address workforce demands in health care, most recently in nursing and physical therapy, and this collaboration will address a critical need that hospitals and communities throughout our region have for more physicians,” said WKU President Gary A. Ransdell. “WKU faculty will be fully engaged, and I’m pleased that our students will have even more opportunities to pursue a medical education here in Bowling Green.” 

Longtime UK faculty member and administrator Dr. Todd Cheever will serve as the first associate dean for the Bowling Green campus. Dr. Don Brown, a vascular surgeon and Bowling Green physician, who also serves as director of medical education at The Medical Center, has been named assistant dean. 

The UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus will be accepting 30 students per year, and will be housed in a multi-purpose building attached to a five-story parking garage constructed on the campus of The Medical Center. Construction is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2018. 

Med Center Health is the flagship brand of Commonwealth Health Corporation (CHC), the parent company of The Medical Center. Med Center Health also has hospitals in Albany, Caverna (Horse Cave), Franklin and Scottsville and operates a long-term, acute care hospital, Commonwealth Regional Specialty Hospital. The combined hospitals offer 454 acute care beds and 110 extended care beds. Med Center Health is one of the largest employers in Southcentral Kentucky with more than 3,500 employees. The Medical Center at Bowling Green is a 337-bed facility that has been serving patients for over 90 years offering the region’s only open heart surgery program, cancer treatment center, obstetrics and neonatology, and adult inpatient psychiatric unit, while also providing emergency medical services in Warren County. 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uk4ky #seeblue

Western Kentucky University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs to 20,000 students on its main campus in Bowling Green and its regional campuses in Glasgow, Elizabethtown-Fort Knox and Owensboro. WKU has undergone a 20-year transformation, during which it completed two successful capital campaigns that raised more than $300 million combined and completed nearly a billion dollars in construction, renovation and revitalization of the physical campus. As an applied research university, WKU faculty and students are engaged in public service and research with practical applications, working with communities, business and industry to solve real world problems. For more information about WKU visit