Michigan State University and Sparrow Hospital Affiliation

Published: Feb. 23, 2009

LANSING, Mich. --- A new, formal alliance between Michigan State University's three human health colleges and Sparrow Hospital outlines a comprehensive strategy to significantly improve mid-Michigan's health-care by expanding research, medical education and clinical services while attracting physician specialists and nurses to address the state's looming shortages of health-care professionals.

The affiliation agreement, signed Feb. 23 at Sparrow, outlines the goals and commitments for both institutions. A Joint Academic Clinical Enterprise committee, with equal representation from MSU and Sparrow, has been established to achieve the goals of this major collaboration.

"This is an historic event for mid-Michigan," Sparrow President and CEO Dennis Swan said. "We are extremely pleased to formally partner with one of the world's great universities and its outstanding schools of Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine and Nursing. This affiliation will further strengthen our decades-long relationship while promoting an even greater number of future research, education and service initiatives."

The affiliation agreement calls for mutual commitments between Sparrow and MSU to expand current partnerships in academic, research and clinical programs while developing new initiatives to attract and retain the best and brightest clinical talent.

"This agreement allows MSU and Sparrow to further combine resources to not only strengthen medical and nursing education, but also have a significant impact on the health of our community," MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. "It highlights our shared commitment to address critical needs in the region such as reducing health-care costs and addressing the physician shortage."

Some other major components of the agreement include:

  • Commitment to enter into collaborations and partnerships in clinical enterprises which will address the changing health-care needs of the region.
  • New joint fundraising endeavors to recruit and retain physicians with specialties and subspecialties of need throughout the region.
  • Formation of a joint institutional review board to streamline review of potential research projects.
  • An emphasis on more medical research, nursing research and clinical trials.

Along with MSU President Simon and Sparrow President Swan, also signing the agreement were representatives from MSU's administration and human health colleges and Sparrow's executive and medical staff including: MSU Provost Kim Wilcox; Sparrow's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Andrea Price; Sparrow's Chief of the Medical Staff, Dawn Springer; MSU's Associate Provost for Human Health Affairs, James R. Hillard; Dean of MSU's College of Human Medicine, Marsha D. Rappley; Sparrow's Chief of the Medical Staff-Elect, Michael Clark; Dean of MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, William D. Strampel; Sparrow's Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Larry Rawsthorne; Dean of MSU's College of Nursing, Mary Mundt; and Sparrow's Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Elizabeth Henry.

"MSU and Sparrow have traditions of excellence, and of working with one another to constantly improve health-care quality in mid-Michigan," Swan said. "This new agreement paves the way for future research, education and clinical service collaborations in a time in which cooperation and resource sharing are more important than ever."

Though MSU and Sparrow have a long history of working together, this is the first time the two institutions have crafted a comprehensive affiliation agreement, as opposed to individual contracts or partnerships for specific programs or services.

"With MSU's world-class medical and nursing education and Sparrow's excellent medical care, this collaboration will reach far beyond mid-Michigan to bring global solutions to the health-care challenges we face," Simon said