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Proposed medical school gets donation of tobacco settlement funds

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 16, 2009

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A proposal to build a new medical school and health sciences center at King College in Bristol, Tenn., received a major funding boost on Oct. 29 when the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission granted $25 million to the enterprise.

Plans to build the medical school were announced about a year ago by the college president. It is expected to cost $100 million to $150 million to complete, with an opening possible in 2012.

The grant stipulates that the medical school be constructed in Virginia. The twin cities of Bristol, Tenn., and Bristol, Va., abut each other on the Tennessee-Virginia state line, with King College falling on the Tennessee side.

The tobacco commission was created in 1999 by Virginia to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities. It is funded by the 1998 Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement, which was reached when 46 states settled lawsuits that aimed at recovering tobacco-related health care costs from the major tobacco companies.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/11/16/prbf1116.htm.

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