Story Update: Mountcrest University College breaks ground on Medical School

March 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm 1 comment

Editor’s Note: Penn State Medicine highlighted the relationship between Penn State College of Medicine and Ghana’s Mountcrest University College in January. The College of Medicine’s Dr. Ben Fredrick recently returned from Ghana to give an update. Follow Penn State Medicine for updates on the College’s work with MountCrest.

Kwaku Ansa-Asare and Helena Ansa-Asare, founders of MountCrest University School. The school’s teaching hospital will be named after their son, Kwame Ansa-Asare, who died in 1999 at the age of 19 from leukemia.

Kwaku Ansa-Asare and Helena Ansa-Asare, founders of MountCrest University School. The school’s teaching hospital will be named after their son, Kwame Ansa-Asare, who died in 1999 at the age of 19 from leukemia.

Mountcrest University College has broken ground on its medical school, the first in rural Ghana.

The school is on track to welcome its first class of medical students this September. Students will walk into a new four-story education building in the village of Larteh. The building will include lecture halls, small group rooms, and a library. Planned are a dedicated medical school building and a teaching hospital. Construction of the hospital is planned to begin May.

Mountcrest will have its first White Coat Ceremony on September 5. White Coat Ceremony is when first year medical students receive their white doctor coats, signifying the beginning of medical education. Student coats are shorter than regular doctor coats, to easily identify them in the clinic setting.

“This is a significant event in Ghana because it marks an important decision by Mountcrest leadership to help their health profession students develop humanistic qualities through a longitudinal humanities-in-medicine curriculum,” said Dr. Ben Fredrick (’00), director of the Global Health Center at the College of Medicine. Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, College of Medicine dean, is expected to attend the ceremony.

The College of Medicine was recognized in Mountcrest’s law school commencement and during the groundbreaking ceremony by both Mountcrest founder Kwaku Ansa-Asare and a representative of the President of Ghana.

Mountcrest is establishing the first private medical school in Ghana, and is also the first to build a medical school in a rural area of Ghana. The College of Medicine is working closely with Mountcrest to support the endeavor.

For example, the College of Medicine’s Simulation Center plans to host a member of the Mountcrest faculty as a Visiting Scholar as a way to help the school develop its simulation training.

“We have also identified several community hospitals around the Larteh campus that will serve as training sites for MCU’s student,” Fredrick said. “Our Global Health Scholars Program will begin to send medical students to these community hospitals beginning in June 2016.”

Dr. Ben Fredrick visits with faculty of MountCrest University Medical School.

Dr. Ben Fredrick visits with faculty of Mountcrest University Medical School.

Prior to that, College of Medicine faculty, fourth-year students and residents will travel to Ghana to work with their peers to provide care, provide continuing education, and learn about the Ghanaian health system, the medical conditions and the issues that are most prevalent in rural Ghana.

“Also, we will be assisting them as they develop problem-based learning activities and critical thinking skills for their medical school curriculum,” Fredrick said. “Importantly, they will be including a longitudinal theme of Humanities in Medicine, which will be the first of its kind in Ghana.  This will be modeled after the College of Medicine’s longitudinal humanities curriculum.”

To read a story about the groundbreaking on a Ghana news site, visit

Entry filed under: Features, Profiles. Tags: , , , , , .

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