• Chamber News

  • Santa Maria Valley Welcomes A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

    SANTA MARIA, CA - The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and the City of Santa Maria are excited to welcome A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) to the Santa Maria Valley. “We applaud A.T. Still University for choosing Santa Maria for its new campus, and for the important and lasting role it will contribute in helping to meet the region’s skilled workforce needs and to develop community leaders,” Mayor Alice Patino said.

    “The process of finding the ideal tenant to share our incredible new corporate home was a lengthy one, and I genuinely believe we have done so with ATSU,” said Paul Cook, President/CEO of CoastHills Credit Union. “We share more than a building, we share a vision to serve the underserved.” The new 90,000-square-foot CoastHIlls Corporate Facility is slated to become operational in September. The Credit Union will occupy the first and third floor, with ATSU leasing 25,000 square feet of the second floor.

    In partnership with Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, ATSU plans to begin with its Central Coast Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program and enroll up to 100 students beginning July 2020. The presence of the PA program in Santa Maria will bring an influx of students, staff, and faculty who will contribute to the economy and quality of life.

    “ATSU and the National Association of Community Health Centers will continue collaborating with Santa Maria and nearby communities to develop a nationally recognized region for health professions education, patient care, and research,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO. “We recognize California communities, like many underserved communities nationally, do not have adequate and affordable quality healthcare due to acute and chronic shortages of healthcare professionals and lack of health professions educational opportunities.”

    “The University spent several years researching and visiting California locations,” said Ted Wendel, PhD, ATSU’s senior vice president of university planning and strategic initiatives. “The relationships developed over the last 18 months with organizations including Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Marian Hospital, and CoastHills Credit Union have created a strong foundation for ATSU’s future in California,” said Dr. Wendel. “Santa Maria and the Central Coast stood out as an ideal location where our students, faculty, and staff would want to learn, work, and live and in turn, positively impact the community. The University is indebted to the support provided by Santa Maria and Central Coast communities.”

    “Expanding higher education opportunities is a key priority in our economic development effort,” said Jason Diani, Chairman of the Economic Development Commission. “The addition of ATSU to Santa Maria not only will give residents access to higher education and high-skill jobs, it also allows us to locally educate medical professionals working in our region’s growing healthcare industry.”

    Dr. Ray Arensdorf, Chairman of the Santa Maria Valley Board of Directors, also welcomed the announcement. “We look forward to having them join us as colleagues and fellow contributors as we all work to make Santa Maria a great place to live, work, and do business.”

    Glenn Morris, President & CEO of the Chamber, said, “The mission of the Chamber is to be a catalyst for business growth and a champion for a better Santa Maria Valley. As our region continues to grow, the need for medical professionals will grow with it. Introducing new healthcare professionals to the Central Coast during their education will make it easier for them to stay and build their careers here, serving our neighbors and employees.”



    Sean O’Connor, MBA
    Interim Sr. Director of Communications & Marketing A.T. Still University

    Suzanne Singh
    Director of Economic Development
    Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce
    (805) 925-2403 x 817

    Scott Coe
    Chief Communications Officer
    CoastHills Credit Union

    A.T. Still University
    Established in 1892 by A.T. Still, DO, the founder of osteopathy, A.T. Still University (ATSU) began as the nation’s first college of osteopathic medicine and has evolved into a leading university of health sciences comprised of two colleges and four schools on two campuses and online. Today, ATSU offers master’s degrees across allied health disciplines and doctorates in osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, athletic training, audiology, health administration, health education, health sciences, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

    CoastHills Credit Union
    CoastHills is a not-for-profit Credit Union currently serving more than 68,000 members in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Monterey, and Santa Cruz Counties. It has 10 branches and a full-service call center. With assets of more than $1.16 billion, CoastHills is the second largest locally owned financial institution on the Central Coast.

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