Signed agreement will help Samaritan lock up financing


By Bennett Hall

Western University of Health Sciences has signed a 20-year lease with Samaritan Health Services to operate a medical school in Lebanon. The agreement paves the way for Samaritan to line up financing for the project, which is slated to break ground this summer.

"Getting the lease document completed was the final stage to getting financing," said Larry Mullins, president and CEO of Samaritan Health Services. "This was a critical factor." Samaritan will build and own the 55,000-square-foot medical school building. The $15 million project will be funded by a bank loan, with the lease serving as security, Mullins said.

The new medical school, to be called the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest, is scheduled to open in August 2011 with an initial class of 75 students. Enrollment is expected to grow to 400 by 2014.

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