School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Wayne State and Henry Ford Health System sign new educational affiliation agreement

Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.

Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.

Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University officials have signed a new affiliation agreement that will greatly enhance academic opportunities for medical students and more closely align two of midtown Detroit’s anchor institutions as they work together to help revitalize the city.

The five-year rolling horizon contract will increase the number of Wayne State School of Medicine students training in Henry Ford facilities, encourage more collaborative research, co-brand some physician residency and fellowship programs, explore the creation of a school of public health and seek efficiencies through programmatic integration. Discussions aimed at creating this partnership began more than two years ago.

The agreement also calls for the two sides to continue exploring the feasibility of constructing a multidisciplinary biomedical research building and forming a joint research foundation.

Under the contract, the number of WSU medical students training in Henry Ford facilities will incrementally increase from the current 90 third-year students, as capacity allows.

“This agreement opens up countless learning opportunities for our medical students and provides stability to our educational mission on a long-term basis,” said Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., dean of the School of Medicine. “Henry Ford clinical faculty members have proven to be very engaged and popular with our students, so this is very much a win-win arrangement.”

Most HFHS research scientists and teaching physicians already have faculty appointments in the School of Medicine. In addition to teaching and serving as mentors, HFHS-based Wayne State faculty members will play a larger role on committees governing curriculum, admissions, professionalism and research, among other areas.

“This is a great example of two major institutions working together for the good of Detroit,” said Nancy Schlichting, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. “Midtown will lead the revival of the city, but it will take a team effort. We must work together.”

Wayne State and Henry Ford have strong research entities and further collaboration is expected to create synergy and lead to greater scientific gains. The agreement calls for reciprocal access to laboratories and other research infrastructure where appropriate, in particular the Biostatistics Department at HFHS and the Detroit Regional Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Wayne State’s C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development. The institutions will continue to work together to submit grants to the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies, and Henry Ford will support four M.D./P.h.D. first-year stipends per year.

“Henry Ford Health System has one of the largest research entities outside of a university in the country,” Allan Gilmour, president of Wayne State, said. “When you combine its strengths, for example in biostatistics and epidemiology, with Wayne State’s research strengths, there is great potential to advance the health and well-being of citizens in Detroit and around the world.”

For example, the Josephine Ford Cancer Center at Henry Ford, the Wayne State School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute recently joined forces to land a $4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to improve access to cancer screenings and treatment for older, underserved African-Americans throughout the tri-county area.

This fall, Wayne State and Henry Ford, along with Michigan State University, partnered on an application for a Clinical and Translational Science Awards grant, designed to increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research across the country. The new agreement further moves the institutions in that direction.

“As one of the nation’s leading academic health centers, our faculty physicians are dedicated to and enjoy fulfilling their Hippocratic Oath by sharing their knowledge and helping to prepare the next generation of physicians,” said Dr. Mark Kelley, CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group.

Henry Ford and the Wayne State School of Medicine contribute heavily to the well-being of Detroit residents, with Henry Ford absorbing more than $160 million in uncompensated health care each year. Wayne State's medical school faculty members also provide millions of dollars in uncompensated care.
Bookmark and Share