Sam Houston State University held a grand opening for its College of Osteopathic Medicine on Aug. 14 in Conroe's Grand Central Park.

According to a news release from SHSU, the college is the first medical school in Montgomery County and is set to host its first class this fall. The College of Osteopathic Medicine aims to help address the shortage of primary care physicians in Texas.

SHSU has been working on the college proposal since 2015 to meet the needs of the medically underserved East Texas region. According to SHSU officials, the college will collaborate with hospitals in rural East Texas counties to establish residency training programs and has confirmed affiliation agreements with hospitals.

The college broke ground in November 2018 and was formally recognized for candidate status seeking accreditation in May 2019 after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2867.

The university also opened SHSU Physicians, a new medical clinic, last November at 690 S. Loop 336 W., Ste. 200, Conroe.