2008-08-21 / Religion & Family

Munson, MSU partner in new medical education campus

Munson Medical Center and Michigan State University have agreed to establish a new medical education campus in northern Michigan.

The partnership would create MSU College of Human Medicine's seventh community campus, its only campus in northern lower Michigan, and the college's first new campus in more than 30 years.

"This represents an exciting opportunity for hospitals in the Munson Healthcare System and other regional health care providers," said Doug Deck, President and CEO of Munson Healthcare. "We welcome the MSU College of Human Medicine's plans to expand in northern Michigan."

Plans call for the first medical students to begin studies in northern Michigan during the summer of 2009. Students will rotate through various medical disciplines and specialty areas at facilities and with providers across the region.

Munson Medical Center President and CEO Ed Ness said the new campus would strengthen the hospital's ties to the university and open new possibilities for physician retention and recruitment.

"At Munson Medical Center, we're already collaborating with MSU for our Family Practice Residency program," he said. "This new effort will provide third- and fourth-year medical students with a chance to study and live in an area of the state that they may wish to return to someday."

MSU College of Human Medicine Dean Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., believes the partnership benefits the college as well, as it expands its medical school to meet health care issues such as a projected physician shortage in the state.

"We believe community-based medical schools are part of the solution to the challenges facing health care across this nation," she said. "MSU College of Human Medicine is recognized nationally for advancing this concept into the next era of health care and we're delighted Munson has agreed to become an anchor for our newest campus."

Initial talks about the campus began in August 2007. A survey of physicians from across northern Michigan revealed nearly 400 were interested in becoming involved with the school. In addition to Munson Medical Center, students may train at partnering hospitals throughout the region, including Kalkaska Memorial Health Center in Kalkaska, Mercy Hospital in Cadillac, Mercy Hospital in Grayling, Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord, Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort, West Shore Medical Center in Manistee, Alpena Regional Medical Center in Alpena, Cheboygan Memorial Hospital in Cheboygan and Northern Michigan Regional Hospital in Petoskey.

In addition to its seventh community campus in Traverse City, MSU College of Human Medicine has community campuses located in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Flint and the Upper Peninsula.

Munson currently hosts five third- and five fourth-year medical students from MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine for training. In addition, since 1996, Munson Medical Center and the MSU Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine have collaborated on a Family Practice Residency Program that annually trains 15 residents at the Munson Family Practice Center.

For information, visit www.munsonhealthcare.org/ or humanmedicine.msu.edu/.

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