BILLINGS - Big Sky Economic Development (BSED) said they had a very important series of discussions with senior leadership at Rocky Vista University (RVU) and the Medforth Global Healthcare Education CEO, Dr. Andy Sussman.
According to a release, Dr. Sussman expressed humble regrets and provided absolute clarity for the values of their organization and a zero tolerance of any form of discrimination. BSED said they trust that Medforth and RVU will handle this situation with the utmost professionalism.
RVU and Medforth have been valuable partners throughout this project. After meeting with their senior leadership team, BSED said they will continue to work toward bringing the proposed Rocky Vista University Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine to Billings.
Steve Arveschoug, BSED Executive Director said, “There is much work to do today and the days ahead, but I am cautious and encouraged by the very honest dialogue, understanding of our concerns and commitments to the actions necessary to build trust - as expressed by Dr. Sussman and others. The RVU team members shared deep regrets, and in no way meant to hurt or disparage any group or individual. That is not who they are as a company, or as individuals, and they expressed that directly to me during our conversation.”
BSED said they began this process with strong due diligence, including meeting privately with community leaders in Utah to discuss RVU's commitment to community and the people they serve. Their community leaders and students have had a very honoring and supportive relationship with RVU, according to BSED. The comments made in no way reflect what, BSED said, they have learned about RVU from their students and their home community.
The goal, when the community started this project, was to build capacity in medical education. BSED said that will continue to be the focus of Big Sky Economic Development.