Montana may not have the population or the money to support a medical school, but that doesn’t mean it can’t foster cutting-edge medical research. The University of Montana is pairing its physical and intellectual infrastructure with top health care professionals to conduct some of the most advanced clinical research in the country.
Missoula has long been a place of confluence, and in 1987 UM first joined hands with St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center to create the Institute of Medicine and Humanities. Through this first collaboration, the University began to share its rich liberal arts tradition with the community’s health care system.
When UM President George Dennison convinced Dr. Carlos Duran, a leading cardiologist, to come to Missoula in 1995 to found the International Heart Institute, the University-hospital relationship diversified. Two more institutes have since opened their doors – the Montana Cancer Institute and the Montana Neuroscience Institute – and UM has become a first-class medical research facility for regional health professionals.
“For the University, it creates the kind of setting that faculty and students want to be in, because they can be a part of research that means something,” Dennison says. “For the doctors, they have access to a research center. These institutes are doing outstanding work.”