Beckley ARH Hospital signs 20-year affiliation agreement with Avalon University School of Medicine


Avalon University School of Medicine is proud to announce a 20-year affiliation agreement for clinical rotations to be completed at Appalachian Regional Healthcare. With Beckley, West Virginia being one of Avalon’s primary clinical rotations sites in the United States, this collaboration will strengthen and allow further development of the clinical science program to educate and train students during their final years of medical school. Avalon University will also graciously sponsor a student lounge at Beckley ARH. The $200,000 sponsorship will span the 20-year affiliation agreement.

According to Rocky K. Massey, Community CEO, Beckley ARH Hospital, said the affiliation is something great to build upon.

“No matter what forum, committee or event, the doctors all have nothing but positive to stay about Avalon University School of Medicine students,” said Massey.

Avalon University School of Medicine is a medical degree program that was founded in 2003. The school is located on the Caribbean island of Curacao, with their main administrative office located in Youngstown, Ohio. The medical degree program at Avalon provides a rich, diverse educational experience that aims at providing quality medical education at an affordable cost. With small class sizes and a low student-teacher ratio, Avalon's approach of conducting a more "personalized" education has produced over 90 graduates practicing medicine in the United States and Canada, and over 100 graduates practicing medicine worldwide.

Nick Jafary, MD, Beckley ARH Hospital, said that the students invest in more than their education. “The students invest in the community. They live, eat and work here and commit to our community.”

Avalon offers a traditional 4-year MD program for undergraduate students, and a 5-year Premedical/MD program for high school graduates. Approximately the first two years are spent in Curacao with the curriculum being designed to provide students the essential understanding of the fundamental disciplines underlying modern medicine. The last two years of the education program are completed in the United States at hospital and outpatient facilities, such as Appalachian Regional Healthcare.

According to Samir Fatteh, MD, Avalon University, the strength of the affiliation between the two organizations lies in the commitment to student success. “ARH and its physicians are very instrumental in the success of our students,” he said.

He went on to say that the students get a great education and do very well for themselves, “and it is because of the physicians here.”

Beckley ARH Chief of Staff, Khiami, noted that Avalon students are the best quality. “We must continue to build this relationship and I guarantee that every student will have a good rotation here.”

Beckley ARH Hospital is a not-for-profit, 173-bed, acute-care facility (including 60 psychiatric beds) with a level IV Trauma Center Emergency Room. It is part of Appalachian Regional Healthcare - a not-for-profit health system currently operating 11 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, McDowell, Middlesboro, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies.

ARH employs nearly 5,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia, and is consistently recognized for its medical excellence.


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