JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University has some special visitors on Monday.
Legislators left the Arkansas State Capitol and traveled north to check out A-State's campus.
ASU System Vice President for University Relations Shane Broadway said he was thrilled when he was contacted by committee members.
"We were contacted a few weeks ago by the staff of the House and Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee. The Chairman and co-chairs of the House and Senate Committees wanted to have their meeting here at the NYIT campus at A-State to learn more about the Osteopathic Medical school, and it's impact, not only on the A-State campus, but also why it's here and what it proposes for the Delta, for the region, and for Arkansas to provide more physicians. Because Arkansas has a huge shortage of physicians in the state."
Broadway said getting to show people what's happening at A-State is always a positive thing.
"Anytime we get the chance to host legislators from around the state, We've got people from Rogers to Crossett to Texarkana, anytime we have the opportunity to showcase the A-State campus, because they've already had several comments about the construction that's going on and how beautiful the campus is," Broadway said. "Because a lot of times, legislators and others don't have a reason to come to Jonesboro except for a meeting. And so, it's a great opportunity to talk about the exciting things happening on campus and also the relationship we have with NYIT."
Broadway said NYIT's College of Osteopathic Medicine is dedicated to improving access to health care for the underserved and rural populations in both Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta.
Broadway said he hoped the legislators left their visit with an understanding of the impact the College of Osteopathic Medicine is going to have in the Region 8 area and the state.
"I hope they walk away with the understanding that Arkansas State University is being very proactive," Broadway said. "And not just trying to address issues of our community, but also the entire Delta region. Because we believe the NYIT Osteopathic Medical School is going to have an impact throughout the Delta and throughout Arkansas in terms of improving healthcare. We've already seen the impact of having their students on our campus. What it brings in terms of recruiting students to campus. So, I hope they walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation of the initiative it took to bring NYIT here. And they're getting doctors that are going to practice in Arkansas at no cost to the state taxpayers."
The state of Arkansas ranks 48th in overall population health status due to low health indicators like obesity and smoking.
The state ranks 46th in the number of active physicians per capita and 39th in the number of primary care physicians.
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