Published on June 17, 2019

Tower Health and Drexel University College of Medicine Break Ground on New Four-Year Regional Campus

On Monday, June 17, Tower Health and Drexel University held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health four- year regional campus in West Reading. Clint Matthews, Tower Health President and CEO; John Fry, Drexel University President; and Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Dean, Drexel College of Medicine spoke about this milestone for the future of the medical school.

Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM) at Tower Health, located on Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills redevelopment, will feature state-of-the-art technology - as well as traditional classrooms, learning communities, and lecture halls. The facility will include traditional and nontraditional instructional venues where students will advance their medical skills and education via simulated patient rooms, anatomy laboratories, and simulation labs to promote interdisciplinary education with residents, physicians, and nurses. In addition, the building's design will enhance student life, promote health and wellness, and encourage an immersive learning experience. Students will have access to a fitness center with indoor and outdoor recreation space, Information Commons (Library), lounge areas, a game room, and café. When fully operational, the campus will have capacity to educate and train 200 medical students.

"Tower Health is focused on taking care of all the communities we serve," said Matthews. "Our collaboration with Drexel University further enhances our ongoing commitment to our academic mission by educating the physicians of tomorrow while also having a positive economic impact in Berks County."

The new campus will bring faculty, staff, students and families who will become patrons of local stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the community. It will also increase jobs for physicians, educators and other disciplines.

Drexel University medical students will benefit from the addition of a new regional campus in an area that is experiencing economic growth, while studying medicine at the largest hospital between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Fry said, "Our relationship with Tower Health and this four-year regional campus creates an excellent destination for our medical students to build the emerging skills required by today's physicians to meet the ever-growing needs within health care."

Tower Health and Drexel University first announced plans to develop a regional campus near Reading Hospital in April 2018. Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills, located .6 miles from Reading Hospital, was selected as the future home of Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in October 2018. A 20-year academic agreement was signed between the two organizations in February 2019, and on May 29, 2019, twenty, third-year DUCOM medical students began their core clinical rotations at Reading Hospital.