EDINBURG, RGV – UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine is to get another building at its Edinburg campus.

Dr. John H. Krouse, vice president for medical affairs at UTRGV and dean of the university’s medical school, made the announcement in an interview with reporters on Wednesday.

Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of UTRGV School of Medicine

“We have outgrown our current space. We need additional space for faculty offices, student study spaces, classrooms, meeting spaces. As we grow and get a larger class of medical students, we simply need more space,” Krouse said.

“We want to build a new building adjacent to our existing medical school building in Edinburg. The projected cost is about $12 million.”

Asked where the new building would be situated, Krouse said: “It would be built on the other side of where our auditorium and library are but adjacent to the complex of buildings that make up the medical school.”

Krouse gave an interview to reporters after giving the keynote speech at an Edinburg Chamber of Commerce luncheon, held Wednesday at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

Asked about the importance of the School of Medicine, Krouse said: “A medical school is a resource for the community and we want to continue to work to expand access to care for people who may have poor access. We want to continue to work on research initiatives, that will focus on diseases of importance to the Rio Grande Valley. And we want to continue to expand our educational opportunities for our medical students and other health professionals.”

Expansion is necessary if the medical school is to fulfill its mission statement, Krouse told reporters. He said UTRGV will be looking for help in securing more state funding from area legislators.

“We are certainly going to continue to be expanding both clinical and educational facilities. We are looking to build several clinical facilities that will require state funds in order to complete. We are also continuing to expand our educational growth. A new building will be built on our Edinburg campus, starting this year. State funding of medical schools is important for its sustainability. We will certainly talk to all of our state legislators about those funding needs.”

Krouse assumed his post as dean of the school of medicine on July 1, 2017. He came to the Valley from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served as the senior associate dean for clinical affairs; president of Temple University Physicians; professor and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery; and director of the Head and Neck Institute at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. He also served as associate dean for Graduate Medical Education from 2012 to 2015.

Krouse graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester, New York. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a Master of Business Administration from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in 2014.

Krouse completed his internship in surgery at Beth Israel Hospital and his residency training in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is board certified in otolaryngology.

Edinburg Economic Development Corporation President Gilbert Enriquez welcomed UTRGV’s decision to expand its medical school footprint.

Edinburg EDC President Gilbert Enriquez

“It is going to help out tremendously for our community. It is providing a service to all students, both those in the RGV and those coming in from other parts of the country. Long-term it is going to benefit our city economically, with all the students coming in, the faculty coming in, being part of the medical school. You will have research facilities, it is just going to impact our city tremendously,” Enriquez told the Rio Grande Guardian, at an Edinburg EDC meeting held the same day as the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Expanding services at UTRGV helps the Valley develop a skilled workforce, Enriquez added.

“It helps us attract investors, developers into our city. It (UTRGV) translates into skilled labor. It can only be positive, there is no negative to it. The UT System is investing heavily in Edinburg, and we are happy they are investing a lot in Edinburg. It is only going to help our city thrive and bring in potential industries, research centers, hopefully more hospitals, it is going to help the growth north of Edinburg, with the new rooftops coming in.”