Board Greenlights New Independent Medical School at Benedictine College

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

On Sept. 8, the President of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, will sign a Collaborative Affiliation Agreement between Catholic Healthcare International and Benedictine College.

The agreement begins the process of establishing a new medical school on Benedictine College’s campus, the St. Padre Pio Institute for the Relief of Suffering, School of Osteopathic Medicine, at Benedictine College (proposed).

The Board of Directors of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, on Aug. 23 authorized President Stephen D. Minnis to sign the historic agreement. The medical school will be an independent, nonprofit, separately financed, licensed, accredited and governed entity.

The Board of Directors discussed and approved the project after hearing presentations by project heads Jere Palazzolo, President of Catholic Healthcare International; Father Tim Nelson of the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., a member of the Catholic Healthcare International Board; and Dr. George Mychaskiw, a board-certified pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist who has been instrumental in the development of four colleges of medicine.

Benedictine College’s new Strategic Plan, Transforming Culture in America, developed by faculty, board members and invited experts, says “STEM education is a particular emphasis of Benedictine College” and instructs the college to advance the mission through science and health care by forming students comprehensively in bioethics and fostering external relationships.

Deliberations for the new plan have included local officials as the medical school is expected to make a significant positive impact on Atchison, Kansas.

President Minnis said, “It is vital to train future doctors, at a place like Benedictine College that understands the essential role of faith and morality in the sciences. The campus culture of community, faith and scholarship that we have worked so hard to create will be the perfect home for the Padre Pio medical school at Benedictine College. We cannot wait to share more details of this project as they become available.”

The college made the decision to sign the statement on Sept. 8 because it is the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. “It is only right that we put this project in the hands of Our Lady who has always taken such good care of the college,” President Minnis said. “The college was consecrated to Mary on Sept. 8 2013, dedicated Mary’s Grotto on Sept. 8, 2009, and launched our Transforming Culture in America strategic vision on Sept. 8, 2021. She has always blessed our trust in her.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

The Saint Padre Pio Institute for the Relief of Suffering, School of Osteopathic Medicine, at Benedictine College (proposed), is an independent institution that will be located on the campus of Benedictine College. It is a separately licensed, governed, financed and accredited entity that is not part of Benedictine College. It is not yet accredited or approved by any entity to solicit students, make offers of admission or begin instruction, and nothing in this presentation should be construed as such.