The Inaugural Class of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Welcomed to NKU

White Coat ceremony

August 2, 2019— Northern Kentucky University welcomed the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s first class of medical students who will pursue education at its new Northern Kentucky Campus this fall. The event marks the UK college’s continuous expansion and collaboration efforts to better serve the health needs of Kentucky communities.

Thirty-five students gathered on Friday afternoon at Greaves Concert Hall for the inaugural class’s White Coat Ceremony, an annual event that commemorates the beginning of medical training. UK partnered with NKU and St. Elizabeth Healthcare, one of the most respected medical providers in the Greater Cincinnati region to make this expansion possible.

“Seeing the first cohort of medical students welcomed into the UK College of Medicine is an important moment on our campus,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “The collaboration with UK and St. Elizabeth to establish the Northern Kentucky medical school campus addresses the physician shortage in the region and aligns with our commitment to serve the needs of the area and address critical population health issue.”

“These three institutions are working together to transform health science education and better prepare future health care workers,” Steven Haist, MD, associate dean for the Northern Kentucky campus, said. “Through this partnership we can help advance medical education and access to health care within our state.”

The Northern Kentucky site comes one year after the UK College of Medicine opened a campus in Bowling Green, Ky., through a partnership with Med Center Health and Western Kentucky University.

“As our footprint across the state of Kentucky grows, we will continue to strive to provide high-quality education and retain well-trained physicians in the Commonwealth,” Robert S. DiPaola, MD, dean of the UK College of Medicine, said. “We are thrilled to see our partnership with St. Elizabeth and NKU officially come to fruition.”

The four-year medical school campus in Northern Kentucky will complement the educational programs offered at the UK College of Medicine’s sites in Lexington, Morehead, and Bowling Green. Onsite faculty will have UK College of Medicine appointments, teach in small groups and provide simulated and standardized patient experiences with live-streamed lectures delivered from the Lexington Campus.

"We are thrilled to partner with the University of Kentucky and NKU to invest in the future of health in our community," added Garren Colvin, President and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. "With this partnership we will be able to provide additional benefits to both organizations as well as the region by directly assisting in medical school support and recruitment for the Northern Kentucky Campus. Together, this is another step to help lead Northern Kentucky to become one of the healthiest communities in America."

The College of Medicine’s expansion aligns with its strategic plan to make an impact through a transdisciplinary strategy in areas of education, research, clinical care, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. Those interested in learning more about the new campus, or general information on the UK College of Medicine, can visit

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit