Fayetteville State University (FSU), the oldest public historically Black college and university (HBCU) in North Carolina, and Meharry Medical College (MMC), one of the nation's oldest and largest historically Black academic health science centers located in Nashville, Tenn., signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Friday, October 23, 2020, that will address the need for providing quality medical care and skilled health care professionals for this region of the state. The virtual signing was held at 11 a.m. EDT, in the Rudolph Jones Student Center on the FSU Campus and at MMC in Nashville, Tenn.
The MOU signing ceremony included FSU Interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine, Dr. James E.K. Hildreth Sr., president and CEO of MMC; Dr. Lee Brown, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at FSU; Dr. Afua Arhin, Interim Dean of Health, Science and Technology at FSU; Dr. Digna S. Forbes, Interim Dean of the MMC School of Medicine; and Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, Dean of MMC School of Dentistry.
Guests included members of both institutions' board of trustees, members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, local and state government officials, faculty and administrators from FSU and MMC, and students.
"We applaud Fayetteville State University for taking this important step in educating and training a new generation of physicians and dentists for the communities they serve," said Meharry President and CEO James E.K. Hildreth Sr., Ph.D., M.D. "Working with FSU to prepare health care providers who will return to serve those in rural Southeastern North Carolina is enormously important to the state, the region and the nation." The Memorandum of Understanding between Meharry and FSU is only the start of improving the quality of life for individuals and families living in this part of North Carolina, Hildreth said.
The partnership between FSU and MMC will address the medical needs for this region by doing the following:
- Establishing and implementing a 3-plus-3-plus-3 program (three years for pre-med from FSU, three years of medical school at Meharry, and three years residency in Cumberland County)
- Establishing and implementing a pre-dental track for students interested in dentistry.
- Establishing and implementing a rural training track residency training program in the southeast region of North Carolina
"We are so pleased to be entering into this partnership with Meharry Medical College," said FSU Interim Chancellor Dr. Peggy Valentine. "Working with an institution of Meharry's caliber to produce highly qualified medical professionals will be mutually beneficial not only to FSU, but also to the people of Cumberland County. We know that this part of the state needs more physicians and dentists of color to serve residents who are disproportionately affected by health disparities. FSU is glad to be doing its part in addressing this critical need."