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The new state budget includes $14 million for the Old Dominion University-Eastern Virginia Medical School merger, on track to happen in January 2024.

State funding will help the two schools create the largest offering of medical degrees in Virginia, according to an ODU press release.

“We could not be more pleased with this most recent development and continued progress,” ODU President Brian O. Hemphill said in the statement.

About $5 million of the appropriation is earmarked for what the schools call initial integration and information technology needs. Another $9 million will help move EVMS employees into the state personnel system.

The two schools first began floating the idea of a merger several years ago. In December 2021, they signed a memorandum of understanding to explore options for how to do so.

The school will be called the Eastern Virginia Health Sciences Center at ODU.

It’ll host 56 health science programs, including 18 that aren’t offered anywhere else in the state — like a master’s degree in surgical assisting, a doctorate in reproductive clinical science and master’s in art therapy and counseling.

School leaders said they hope to focus on four areas with the integration: mitigating health disparities, accelerating economic development of the region, strengthening the clinical workforce pipeline and expanding research opportunities.

“EVMS is one of the few remaining standalone medical schools in the country and we are excited by the opportunity to expand our available resources, expertise and community reach,” said Alfred Abuhamad, dean of EMVS’ School of Medicine.