University description (as per official university website)
he Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia is a four-year osteopathic medical school offering the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.).
Shortage of Rural Physicians
The decision to establish the College was made after the leaders of the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) studied the health care needs of Virginia. That study revealed that Southside and the Southwest geographical areas of Virginia had an extreme health care shortage, with 30 counties considered to have critical shortages (HPSA) designations and greater than 70 having medically under served areas (MUAs). The three existing medical schools in Virginia, being located in the eastern half of the state, were producing a relatively small number of primary care physicians or physicians for Southwest Virginia. Moreover, less than fifty percent of these graduates remained in Virginia after residency. It was evident from the study that the health care shortage in Virginia would continue to grow. In addition, a 2002 national study, reported initially in Health Affairs, estimated a shortage of 50,000 physicians by 2010 and shortage of more than 100,000 physicians by 2020. The need was evident, and plans to establish the College moved forward.
The Founding of the College
Ribbon CuttingVCOM is a non-profit, private 501 c-3 charitable organization initially funded by several foundations that were established by the late Marion Bradley Via to benefit Virginia Tech and Southwest Virginia. Marion Bradley's son, Edward Via was the person instrumental in funding this initiative. John Rocovich J.D. and Sue Ellen Rocovich D.O. were was the individuals instrumental in founding the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, laying all the groundwork to establish the College. At the time of initial development, VCOMís vision was to provide healthcare for Southwest Virginia and the Appalachian Region, and to promote biomedical research with Virginia Tech. In 2001, VCOM hired the founding President James Wolfe Ph.D. and the founding Executive Vice President and Dean, Dixie Tooke-Rawlins D.O. This team of individuals developed the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Corporate Research Center of Virginia Tech including facility plans and building, academic program planning, accreditation approvals, and the hiring of the initial faculty and staff. The College opened their doors to the first students in fall of 2003 and graduated the first class in 2007.
VCOM's Founding Board of Directors included: William Anderson, D.O.; Neal Castagnoli, Jr, Ph.D.; A. Cifala, D.O.; Roy E. Heaton, D.O.; Mark G. McNamee, Ph.D.; John G. Rocovich, Jr, Esq, Chairman of the Board; Sue Ellen B. Rocovich, D.O., Ph.D.; Minnis Ridenhour, Ph.D.; James F. Wolfe, Ph.D. and Eugene T. Zachary, D.O
"The credit for the success of the founding of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine belongs to more than the initial founders listed above. It also belongs to the first faculty and staff, the board of directors, the many supporters for their contributions, and most of all the first students (Class of 2007)," said Dr. Tooke-Rawlins"
Financial aid is available to qualified students to assist in paying for expenses directly related to the cost of their medical education. Borrowing money from these programs is a privilege, not a right. Students must remember that a loan is not a gift or grant; it must be repaid. Student loans are to be used only for the studentís education-related and personal living expenses. Over-borrowing can cause a student to default on a loan. Default is the failure of the borrower to make an installment payment when due or the failure to meet other terms of the promissory note. Defaulted loans are reported to national credit agencies, thus affecting credit ratings and future ability to borrow money. If a studentís loan goes into default, the College, the organization that holds the loan and the federal government can all take action to recover the money. The federal government and loan agencies can also deny a schoolís participation in the student loan programs or charge students higher fees if the default rate is high. So, for protection of a studentís personal credit rating and the schoolís ability to continue to provide financial aid to future students, VCOM encourages students to learn basic budgeting techniques, keep track of the amount they are borrowing and borrow wisely.
VCOM offers the following options for financial aid assistance:
* Information to students regarding scholarship opportunities;
* Loans through the federal Stafford and Graduate PLUS Loan programs;
* Private (Alternate) loans obtained through lending agencies; and
* Offering scholarship resources.