The Medical School staff is preparing to make the move to the new building over the next few weeks. This move marks the first time our entire staff and student body will be under one roof. I know that the cohesion this brings will greatly improve the learning environment and services we provide for our students and teaching faculty. I applaud the collective efforts of the staff in working together to make this happen, and I very much appreciate their collaborative spirit. We will continue our work and service to medical education at our new address, 222 Richmond Street, Providence, RI 02903.
The renovation plan includes improvements to the immediate areas surrounding the building. Here is some information on what the near-term renovations will look like once completed, and the longer term plan for the area. We are also in the process of unveiling the academy system. Here is a sneak peek.
View from the Outside
The renovations to transform the former factory for Little Nemo jewelry into the Alpert Medical School’s first home include a $2 million investment to improve the building’s surroundings. Changes include widening the sidewalk on the building side of the street, planting trees along Richmond Street, and creating a “pocket park”. The outside renovations augment the building and the neighborhood creating a more enjoyable Providence. Additional improvements for the neighborhood are planned that will enhance the surroundings for pedestrians and the community. One example is a pedestrian bridge that connects the Jewelry District to the College Hill and Fox Point Neighborhoods. The bridge, which will replace the old Interstate 195 roadbed, will include a cafe, a terrace to the south with available seating, and an extension of the proposed western waterfront park that will include garden space.
The Medical School’s Academies
Aside from the actual move, the biggest topic of interest for faculty, staff and students is the academy system, which begins with the move to 222 Richmond Street. Each student in the four-year program is assigned to one of the three academies, known for now as “Red,” “Green,” and “Blue.” The assignments are made randomly, and the structure of each academy will include three to four faculty members, as well as a director and one coordinator. Emily Green is the director for the Red academy, Alex Morang is the director for Blue, and Kelly Kochis is the director for Green.
The director of each academy is responsible for personal and academic advising, as well as providing guidance regarding career development and planning. The faculty members will oversee students’ career paths, using the AAMC’s Careers in Medicine (CIM) as a guide. The dedication of our faculty to student development was evident in their enthusiastic response to the school’s request for participation.
Each academy will have three offices, a pantry, locker space, three meeting rooms, and a lounge area. In addition to providing students with a set “home base,” the academies will allow more student-to-faculty interaction, create a good space to foster peer mentoring and promote student wellness.
There will soon be an announcement from Alex and Emily of the faculty roster.
Philip Gruppuso, MD
Associate Dean for Medical Education