In 1972, multiple constituents, including three state-supported universities in Northeastern Ohio (The University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University), responded to a challenge offered by the Ohio General Assembly to develop a plan for medical education for this area that could address the need for primary care physicians, and one which would use existing facilities of the three universities and of the area community hospitals to the greatest extent possible.
The Northeastern Medical Education Development Center of Ohio, Inc. (MEDCO), was incorporated under Ohio Law on Aug. 18, 1972, to "develop a plan for expanding medical education opportunities in northeastern Ohio, including the establishment of a medical school." The directors of MEDCO engaged Stanley W. Olson, M.D., to direct the planning effort. He and a group of experts in medical education prepared a document, "The MEDCO Plan for Medical Education - 1973," which was accepted by the MEDCO directors and forwarded to the Governor of Ohio, the Ohio General Assembly, and the Ohio Board of Regents on Dec. 26, 1972.
In August 1973, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation establishing the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM). On Nov. 26 of that year, the Board of Trustees of NEOUCOM was officially installed. The Board of Trustees invited Dr. Olson to become the chief executive officer of the College.
The official "founding" date of the University is November 23, 1973.
Early in 1974, the site at Rootstown was chosen for the Basic Medical Sciences and Administrative Campus of the College. In 1975, 42 members were selected for the charter class of the six-year B.S./M.D. curriculum, and Phase I studies commenced at the consortium universities. In 1976, the College of Medicine was awarded a Letter of Reasonable Assurance from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and, in 1977, Provisional Accreditation was granted. In September of that year, charter class members began their freshman year of medical school on the Rootstown campus.
Meanwhile, association agreements with the College of Medicine were signed by hospitals in the area. Teaching hospitals that associated early with the College to function as major teaching hospitals were Akron General Medical Center, Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron, and Summa Health System, all of Akron; St. Elizabeth Health Center and Western Reserve Care System, both of Youngstown; and Aultman Hospital and Timken Mercy Medical Center of Canton. Hospitals that signed as limited teaching hospitals were Fallsview Psychiatric Hospital, Cuyahoga Falls; Robinson Memorial Hospital, Ravenna; Woodside Receiving Hospital, Youngstown; Barberton Citizens Hospital, Barberton; Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Warren; Hillside Hospital, Warren; Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Center, Akron; and Lodi Community Hospital, Massillon Psychiatric Hospital, Salem Community Hospital, and Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital. In 1994, Barberton Citizens Hospital was reclassified as a major teaching hospital because of its increased role in undergraduate and graduate family medicine education. Ambulatory Care Centers have been completed at the major teaching hospitals in Akron, Canton, and Youngstown.
Full-time basic medical science and community health sciences faculty were recruited to work at the Rootstown campus. A large faculty of full-time, part-time and volunteer clinicians at the associated hospitals and in private offices were recruited to provide the curriculum of the clinical years.
The Medical Education Foundation of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Inc. (MEFCOM), was established on July 10,1978. Later known as the NEOUCOM Foundation, the 501(c)(3) corporation serves as a vehicle through which donations, grants, and bequests can provide support for students, faculty development, scientific equipment, and other projects beneficial to the University.
Full accreditation was accorded the medical portion of the College's six-year combined B.S./M.D. degree program on June 30,1981, retroactive to March 5,1981 (the actual date of the LCME site visit). The College's Charter Class of 42 students graduated on May 30, 1981.
In November 2005, the Ohio Board of Regents approved a doctor of pharmacy program at NEOUCOM, and the College of Pharmacy was established in December 2005 by the NEOUCOM Board of Trustees. The doctor of pharmacy program was likewise created to meet important regional needs: to address the shortage of pharmacists in both retail and hospital settings.
In August 2007, the College of Pharmacy welcomed its first class of 73 students with preferential admissions agreements with three of Northeast Ohio's public universities, The University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University; such preferential consideration was also extended to applicants from Cleveland State University. The program offered NEOUCOM an opportunity to examine curricular needs of its students, and the introduction of interprofessional education was made. Today, medicine and pharmacy students take many first and second year classes together to help build a greater awareness and understanding of each profession and a deeper understanding of working together for the outcome of better patient care. With the addition of the College of Pharmacy, NEOUCOM became one of 130 academic health centers in the nation.
In July 2008, Governor Ted Strickland, the Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut and the Ohio General Assembly signed House Bill 562 into law as part of a state initiative to enhance the quality and affordability of postsecondary education. Through this initiative, NEOUCOM welcomed Cleveland State University as its fourth university partner in the College of Medicine's combined B.S./M.D. program.
In July, 2009, the College of Graduate Studies was established. The University received degree granting authority for a Master of Public Health Degree, and established a bioethics certificate program as well as a M.S. and Ph.D. in integrative pharmaceutical medicine.
In 2009, the Ohio Board of Regents called for an expansion of the College of Medicine program to include students from Cleveland State University. This program began in Fall, 2012.
April 29, 2011 was another historic day for the University, as Governor John Kasich publicly signed House Bill 139 as approved by the Ohio General Assembly to officially change the name of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) to Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). The approval and signing of this bill not only changed our name but also positioned NEOMED as a free standing four-year public university, one of 14 public universities in Ohio.