Healthcare Business News

Loyola med school in Chicago admits undocumented students, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: August 16, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

Seven undocumented medical students started classes on Aug. 4 at Loyola University Chicago, but the school still is the only one in the state—and possibly the country—to intentionally enroll such students.

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Statewide, no other medical or dental school publicly has embraced students who came to the U.S. illegally as children but have spent most of their lives in Illinois.

“I am a little surprised that we're not hearing more interest within the state,” said Mark Kuczewski, chairman of Loyola's department of medical education. Once the state established a tuition loan program, “It's hard to see what the downside would be. … We are in the business of taking the best and the brightest that we can find to make the best physicians we can to serve our communities.”

Other schools are more reluctant. Although the so-called “Dreamers” can work and pay for school through federal and state initiatives for now, there's no guarantee their legal status will last, potentially leaving them with unaffordable bills or facing deportation. Hospital residency training programs, a requirement for licensed physicians, are funded in part with taxpayer money, a possible lightning rod for critics.

Loyola announced in 2013 that it planned to admit undocumented students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The status, which the Obama administration created in 2012, defers deportation proceedings against undocumented residents who are no older than 30 and came to the U.S. when they were younger than 16, among other guidelines.

Another hurdle was how the students would cover $200,000 for four years of tuition and fees when they aren't eligible for federal aid. The Illinois Finance Authority, an independent state agency, stepped in, issuing $390,000 in interest-free loans to cover the first year of school for the seven Loyola students. In exchange, they must work in underserved areas in the state after they finish their training. —Kristen Schorsch, Crain's Chicago Business

Cleveland Clinic plans $276 million cancer center

Cleveland Clinic last week announced plans to build a large, $276 million cancer facility, which will unite much of the cancer care currently scattered around its sprawling campus east of downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland Clinic expects to open its new cancer-care facility in early 2017
Cleveland Clinic expects to open its new cancer-care facility in early 2017.
The clinic said it expects to break ground on the 377,000-square-foot, seven-story facility in late September, and hopes to have it complete in early 2017. Funding is expected to come from a $2 billion fundraising campaign launched earlier this summer. The clinic's building will have a total of 126 exam rooms, 19 more than its current cancer-care capacity. It also will boast 17 more private and semi-private chemotherapy infusion rooms for a total of 98.

The new facility will unite all of the treatment care teams—organized by disease group—on its main campus in one central location. The clinic's building is an outpatient facility, not a free-standing cancer hospital like its Cleveland rival, University Hospitals' Seidman Cancer Center, a $260 million, 375,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2011. —Timothy Magaw, Crain's Cleveland Business

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