Building a medical school in less than three years takes motivated, passionate people who are doggedly committed to our goal. I'm honored to be the person selected to lead this effort and I am especially grateful to all of you who have made our progress possible.
My list of people to thank begins with the Nevada System of Higher Education and Board of Regents, who recognized the need for a new public school of medicine in Las Vegas; the Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West for hiring the Tripp Umbach Group to conduct an economic impact study that confirmed the pressing need for a new medical school here. Our Governor, and the Nevada legislature, who have been enormously supportive and whose bipartisan efforts resulted in the funding needed to maintain our schedule to open our doors on time in 2017.
The UNLV leadership, which made a commitment to hire a planning dean, and who provided much needed funding for our first year deserves my special thanks. I have been especially appreciative of the community advisory board that now has 45 members, including physicians, business leaders and mayors. Their counsel and advocacy throughout the legislative session was invaluable and continues to be today.
I'd also like to thank all three mayors -- Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Las Vegas; Mayor John Lee, North Las Vegas; and Mayor Andy Hafen, of Henderson; plus the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the other chambers in the valley; the Council for a Better Nevada; donors who generously funded 135 full four-year scholarships (60 for the entire first year class and 25 for each of the second, third and fourth years); and dozens more of you who have been so supportive and helpful as we collaboratively build the infrastructure to accommodate the needs of our community.
Now our work really begins. My team of 15 includes two leadership-training volunteers, and the full support of the UNLV administration and faculty. In two years, we hope to welcome our charter class. In some ways, this seems like a long time; however, when we look at the list of things to accomplish, it is a very short time.
We will need to assume responsibility for specialty and subspecialty training for many of the residency programs in the valley and for much of the highest level specialized and primary care. We are currently working on a variety of critical projects essential to our operations, such as obtaining accreditation, recruiting talented faculty, finalizing our innovative curriculum and new clinical programs, building robust graduate medical education programs (residencies and fellowships), identifying and building our facilities, structuring a viable physician practice plan (the financial organization that supports the faculty clinical practice), identifying practice sites, locking down hospital affiliations, implementing information technology, and seeking philanthropic support.
There are no shortcuts to excellence. We would not be where we are today without your commitment, vision and tireless efforts. You have my heartfelt thanks for all you've done and I look forward to our continued collaboration.