DBJ: Premier Health, Wright State University ink academic affiliation deal

Excerpt

Wright State University’s Dayton Campus

Premier Health and Wright State University have signed a collaborative deal to develop clinical talent, conduct joint research, spur economic development and improve care quality.

Announced Tuesday, the academic affiliation agreement frames Wright State and Premier’s relationship as “preferred partners.” That means both parties will prioritize working together on academic, clinical and research initiatives — including provider recruitment, sponsored residencies and facility planning.

The agreement includes Boonshoft School of Medicine programs, as well as Wright State’s nursing and health sciences programs.

Here’s how it works: The affiliation agreement is governed by a joint committee that will create and implement a strategic plan for healthcare-related disciplines at Wright State, including undergraduate and graduate medical education. The committee will address academic and clinical policies, collaborate on the selection of academic and clinical leaders and make recommendations regarding budgets, recruitment and facility planning.

Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health, said the crux of the agreement is twofold. For starters, partnering with WSU will help Premier recruit more clinical employees — particularly within specialties that are difficult to fill amid the ongoing labor shortage.

“We’re just trying to be more active,” Boosalis said. “Nothing is stagnant in our industry, so we have to be on top.”

From the university’s standpoint, Premier Health’s expertise will help inform academic policy, enabling Wright State to implement courses and programs tailored to the healthcare industry’s emergent and future needs.

“Really, it’s about strategic thinking and strategic planning for the workforce (and) for the healthcare industry moving forward,” WSU President Sue Edwards said.

Under the agreement, Boonshoft remains the academic sponsor of the residency program at Premier Health locations. When its residency program exceeds Premier’s capacity, Wright State will still act as the sponsor for other locations, including Kettering Health, Dayton Children’s, Wright-Patt and Dayton VA facilities.

Additionally, the university will cooperate with Premier Health to appoint physicians to WSU’s faculty — and as needed, to develop a category of clinical faculty appointment that will be made available to physicians and medical staff at Premier’s hospitals and facilities.

Premier Health will give Wright State access to its facilities for academic and clinical training programs, including its flagship Miami Valley Hospital. The health network also is continuing to give medical staff privileges to WSU faculty involved in clinical care and education at its hospitals.

Both organizations will support the development of joint research, and they’ll collaborate to implement new academic and research programs at WSU and Premier facilities.

“Collegiality and alignment can get you further faster,” Boosalis said. “We can leverage what’s been a successful model for even greater achievements in initiatives we haven’t even thought of yet.”

The nature of the partnership isn’t entirely new, Edwards said. Premier Health is already the university’s largest source of residency placements, and both organizations have collaborated for years to train future doctors.

But by formalizing an agreement, Premier and Wright State said they aim to find new ways to work together.

One such avenue is through WSU’s new College of Health, Education and Human Services, which presents opportunities for expanded collaboration. Wright State and Premier are also creating a rural family medicine residency program to train physicians who will establish medical practices in rural Ohio.

“The ultimate goal for both of us is to support our community,” Edwards said. “That’s why this synergy makes sense.”

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