Writings and observations

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Washington

The top Washington news story in the early part of last week was the growing (emerging) battle between the University of Washington and Washington State University over WSU’s proposal to establish its own medical school. And it did seem to be settling into a battle.

The idea has an extravagant ring to it but the bigger-picture justification could be there.
UW’s well-regarded school is hemmed in for growth, limited in its expansion options at a time when projections suggest a need for greater numbers of physicians around the Northwest. The niche would be a med school aimed more strictly at training physicians, leaving most of the advanced research (for which UW is well known) at Seattle. The training element need is becoming clearer with time.

Idaho State University leaders have discussed the idea of a med school there, and although that project may be a heavy lift for the smaller institution and state, it reflects real needs and pressures.

The WSU project may have enough force to carry it at least to early stages of development.

Maybe in part because WSU has developed some broad statewide reach – much broader than UW. In addition to its very substantial mother ship campus at Pullman, it has a large operation at the Tri-Cities, and more operations at Spokane, Vancouver and Everett – really, just about all of the corners of the state except for west off the Puget Sound.

The University of Washington, by contrast, has – despite its overall larger size and very large central campus at Seattle – major outposts only at Tacoma and Bothell, just a few miles away. Its reach is more within a metro area, than it is statewide.

That may not seem to have much to do with whether WSU gets a med school, but it could in terms of generating statewide support for the proposition.

Then, link it – coordinate it – closely with the major UW school (which of course no one would want to see diminished), and the whole could become larger than the pieces.

This doesn’t have to be a battle. Shouldn’t be.

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The transfer of Spokane’s Catholic bishop, Blase Cupich, to become archbishop at the country’s third-largest archdiocese at Chicago, got some coverage in Sunday’s papers but not as prominently as might have been expected. (There was some Saturday as well.) Cupich was often described as, in the context of higher-level church leaders, a middle-roader, generally sticking to official Vatican policy but urging a low-key and calm approach to those who disagree. That could be an indicator of where the church’s leadership may be headed at the moment.

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Reviewing Spokane archbishop move to Chicago (Boise Statesman)
High tech startup companies in Boise (IF Post Register)
Lawmakers comment on Luna budget plan (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa tries to grow a night life (Nampa Press Tribune)
Muslims prepare to open Pocatello mosque (Pocatello Journal)
Were other cities invoiced for roads by Pocatello? (Pocatello Journal)
20/20 Produce signs major contract (TF Times News)

One more vote to city hall decision (Eugene Register Guard)
Possible biofuels plant for Lakeview (KF Herald & News)
Profiling governor candidate Richardson (Medford Tribune)
Reviewing congressional races in Oregon (Portland Oregonian)
Investigating a whistleblower’s tale (Salem Statesman Journal)
Salem considers pot shop rules (Salem Statesman Journal)

Jefferson jail makes med mistakes (Bremerton Sun)
Boeing speeding up to meet 787 demand (Everett Herald)
Longview sued over tap water quality (Longview News)
Concerns about spraying in Willapa Bay (Longview News)
WA considers app for remote doctor’s visit (Longview News)
Shoe seller leaving downtown Olympia (Olympian)
Port Angeles utility rates may rise (Port Angeles News)
Debate over language in gun initiative (Seattle Times)
Reviewing ID superintent schools race (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacoma art museum sees expansion plan (Tacoma News Tribune)
Hospitals seeing less charity care (Tacoma News Tribune)
Reviewing ways to deal with problem cops (Vancouver Columbian)
Wenatchee tries downtown public market (Yakima Herald Republic)
Reviewing archbishop move Spokane to Chicago (Yakima Herald Republic)

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