Expanded Partnership Announced for WSU, Henry Ford Health System

Expanded Partnership Announced for WSU, Henry Ford Health System
Detroit Free Press/December 7, 2010

By Patricia Anstett

Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and the Henry Ford Health System today announced a new, expanded partnership to train more students at Ford facilities and combine research interests.

Ford and WSU also will continue to explore possible construction of a biomedical research building and joint research foundation in Midtown, where the two partners are based.

“This is a great example of two major institutions working together for the good of Detroit,” said Nancy Schlichting, president and CEO of the Ford system, in a statement.

“Midtown will lead the revival of the city, but it will take a team effort,” she said. “We must work together.”

Dr. Valerie Parisi, WSU medical school dean, said Ford and WSU have not decided if they will build a new research structure, including where it would be housed.

She said the university will continue to work with the Detroit Medical Center, where the majority of WSU students have trained in the past. “We’re waiting patiently for the Vanguard acquisition to take place so we can start the next series of conversations” with the Nashville firm hoping to buy the DMC by Dec. 31, Parisi said.

The agreement gives Ford and WSU access to some of each other’s laboratories and research facilities and strengthens collaborative research between Ford’s biostatistics department and WSU’s C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, a large prenatal and pediatrics study facility.

Ford and WSU also will explore the possible creation of a new school of public health because of the strengths the two partners bring to those fields already, Parisi said.

The agreement calls for WSU to place as many as half of its 300 students over the next five years in Ford facilities.

Starting next year, 100 WSU will train at Ford facilities, a number to grow to 150 over five years, as capacity allows.

Contact Patricia Anstett: 313-222-5021 or panstett@freepress.com