Officials from Oakwood Healthcare and Wayne State University celebrated the renewal this week of the affiliation agreement between the two organizations that will ensure the ongoing success of the academic-medical partnership. The new agreement is for a full 10 years and will renew for another 10 years in 2022, unless the parties decide to dissolve it.
“This organization has truly been transformed by our relationship with Wayne State,” said Oakwood’s President and CEO, Brian Connolly. “This has been a very wonderful successful venture.”
The ceremony took place at Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Taylor, where several of the programs are centered, and where the two organizations first signed an affiliation agreement in 2006. At the time, there were five residency programs, including: internal medicine, OB/GYN, transitional medicine and radiology. Now, there are also residency programs in cardiology, dermatology, neurology, physical medicine & rehabilitation, orthopedics, and more.
“This partnership strengthens the coalition of two of Michigan’s medical powerhouses, and it will continue to benefit the people of Michigan,” said Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour. “Wayne State University and our School of Medicine are committed to improving the health of Michigan. I want to thank the leaders of Oakwood Healthcare System for assisting us in continuing that commitment.”
The ceremony featured a video presentation that outlined the partnership. The banner signed five years ago was on display, too, and an updated banner was signed by current officials. Guest speakers included Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), who called the agreement “the perfect marriage.”
“I’m delighted at the fact that they’re going to continue this great relationship that’s going to enable them to better serve the people of western Wayne county,” said Dingell. “I know it’s going to mean great things for our community.”
“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” added Michael Geheb, MD, executive vice president of physician planning and operations for Oakwood Healthcare. “The work we’ve done together over the past several years has created a bridge between excellence in academics at Wayne State and hands-on patient care here at Oakwood.”
Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., dean of the WSU School of Medicine, signed the original banner with the words: ‘proud to be on board.’ At the renewal ceremony, she said she would write on the banner: ‘even prouder to be on board.’ She summed up the partnership with three words: leading, teaching and caring.
“This long-term agreement secures a valuable training experience for future WSU medical students and reinforces our commitment of being the leading producer of excellent physicians for the great state of Michigan,” she said.
Wayne State graduated 289 doctors this year. Of those, 166 will stay in Michigan and 13 will remain at Oakwood.