- Associated Press - Thursday, October 6, 2016

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford is expanding and in 2017 will host its inaugural class of first-year medical students.

The Rockford Register Star reports (https://bit.ly/2dVKy4p ) the expansion will bring 55 new medical school students to the Rockford campus next fall. The school has served students in their second, third and fourth years, but first-year students have attended classes in Champaign-Urbana.

Gary Kaatz, former CEO of Rockford Health Systems, is leading a campaign to raise $1.9 million during the next three years to support the expansion. The school plans to hire an additional faculty and staff, and build an anatomy lab and a team-based learning room on campus.

The first fundraiser is a casino night scheduled Friday in Rockford.

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