SCRANTON — The Commonwealth Medical College will have a new name, but its mission will remain unchanged, officials said Wednesday.
Geisinger Health System announced during a news conference its plan to acquire the college, a fully accredited medical college based in Scranton with additional campuses in Wilkes-Barre, Sayre and Williamsport.
“While the college will no longer have the initials ‘TCMC,’ I’ve been saying for a long time those initials stand for ‘This Community’s Medical College,’” said TCMC President and Dean Steven Scheinman. Scheinman. “And this will still be this community’s medical college.”
As for the school’s new name, officials at the news conference said one had not been selected. Scheinman said it will include both “Geisinger” and “Commonwealth.”
And later in the afternoon a press release from Geisinger called the institution “the new Geisinger Commonwealth College of Medicine.” The deal is pending regulatory approval from local, state and accrediting agencies.
When asked about the financial details of the integration, officials could not present a dollar amount, as the commitment is ongoing.
“The employees of The Commonwealth Medical College will become part of the Geisinger family,” Geisinger CEO David Feinberg said, adding the school’s accreditation requires enough money in the bank to remain open for at least five years.
“We have taken care of that, so that will never be a problem,” he said. “So that’s basically the coming together of the two organizations.”
“There’s no particular number attached to that because it is an open-ended commitment, whatever it takes,” added Scheinman.
Feinberg highlighted the benefits of the merger for both entities.
“It gets better when we add undergraduate medical education to the mix,” he said. “We really complete that part of our mission that is to take people and create the healers and caregivers of tomorrow. So Geisinger is really, really proud to be able to have a medical school as part of its overall mission.
“The Commonwealth Medical College just got better today. Having this medical school embedded in what I believe is the most vision-centered community-oriented innovative health system in America allows our students to be trained in a way that they’ll be ready for the way that medicine is going to be practiced in the future.”
Geisinger serves more than three million patients per year, with a dozen hospitals and two research centers.
TCMC is one of the nation’s newest fully accredited medical colleges and, since its charter class of 2013, has awarded 254 medical degrees, as well as more than 300 m asters degrees.
While a specific timeline was not given for the integration, according to a TCMC Geisinger news release, it is expected to “take time” and “be dependent upon many variables.”
“We will, however, update students, faculty and staff and the community at large throughout the process,” reads the release.
During the conference, Scheinman also touched on possible future goals for the college, including a school of graduate studies.
“Over time, I won’t be surprised, you shouldn’t be surprised, if you hear us talking about a Geisinger Commonwealth Medical University,” he said.