Wright State University, Premier Health take affiliation to next level

Front row, from left: Tom Gunlock, chair of the Wright State University Board of Trustees, and Kathleen Carlson, chair of the Premier Health Board of Trustees, signed an expanded affiliation agreement on Dec. 15. They were joined by Sue Edwards, president of Wright State University, and Michael C. Riordan, president and CEO of Premier Health. (Photos by Erin Pence)

The boards of Wright State University and Premier Health this week authorized both institutions to build upon their existing affiliation agreement and further align their operations to advance academic medicine, improve community health, and bolster workforce and economic development across the region.

As a first step, the resolution authorizes the following enhancements to the existing affiliation agreement between the two institutions:

  • Creating a new integrated role that will serve as both the dean of Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine and chief academic officer for Premier Health. The position will be jointly recruited at a national level.
  • Elevating Miami Valley Hospital to be formally recognized as an academic medical center that seamlessly integrates education, research, and clinical care to benefit the region.
  • Leveraging existing resources, including Wright State’s College of Health, Education and Human Services, to improve care for patients and communities in need and to ensure patients and communities have access to a comprehensive array of medical services closer to home.
  • Expanding clinical training programs at Miami Valley Hospital and pursuing strategies to establish such programs at Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center to support clinical workforce development in medicine and allied health.
  • Growing and enhancing clinical faculty while leveraging existing physician practice organizations in a way that benefits clinical, research and academic outcomes – all with an eye toward improving community health in Southwest Ohio.

In addition, the resolution directs Wright State University’s president and Premier Health’s president and chief executive officer to prepare a business plan defining and outlining the two organizations’ future operating relationship by April 30, 2024.

“Premier and Wright State are collectively focused on improving the health of the Dayton region,” said Sue Edwards, president of Wright State University. “We are leveraging our collective strengths to better serve the health care and academic needs of our community. This relationship will expand experiential learning opportunities for students in ways never seen before.”

“A more robust affiliation with Wright State University advances our organizations’ respective missions, elevates academic medicine in the region, and will spur many initiatives that will benefit the region’s communities in exciting new ways,” said Michael C. Riordan, president and CEO of Premier Health.

A 2021 affiliation agreement between Wright State and Premier Health positioned the two institutions as preferred partners that would prioritize working with each other on new initiatives. Leaders from both institutions continue to emphasize that they value their established relationships with other community partners.

The Wright State University Board of Trustees approved an expanded affiliation agreement with Premier Health at its meeting Dec. 15.

“The Dayton region is the only major metropolitan area in Ohio without an integrated partnership linking a university with a health care delivery system,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. “Strengthening the tie between Wright State and Premier enhances the economic vitality of the Dayton region while yielding tangible benefits for its residents. The Dayton Development Coalition applauds this enhanced relationship.”

“Our region has a longstanding legacy of innovation through partnerships,” said Chris Kershner, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber applauds Wright State and Premier for leveraging their collective relationship to improve the health of our region and better prepare our health care workforce for the future.”

Premier Health and Wright State University already collaborate in many ways through the Boonshoft School of Medicine and Wright State’s nursing and health sciences programs, including:

  • Joint training of medical and nursing students, physicians, professional nurses and other health care professionals in Southwest Ohio, fostering collaboration in academic, clinical and research initiatives.
  • Support for Premier Health nurses pursuing a bachelor’s degree through Wright State’s nursing program.
  • The Boonshoft School of Medicine acts as the academic sponsor of the residency program at Premier Health facilities, sponsoring residencies in 12 medical specialties and fellowships in 13 subspecialty fields.
  • Coordinating a rural family medicine residency program aimed at training physicians who will establish medical practices in underserved areas of rural Ohio, addressing the shortage of health care professionals in those communities.
  • Collaboration in clinical trials conducted through the Wright State University and Premier Health Clinical Trials Research Alliance (CTRA), spanning various medical specialties throughout Southwest Ohio. Approval for Premier Health clinical trials and studies involving human subjects is granted by Wright State’s Institutional Review Board.
  • Uniting Wright State’s advanced biomedical research capabilities with the clinical resources of one of the largest hospital systems in Ohio through the establishment of the Wright State and Premier Health Neuroscience Institute.

About Wright State: A Carnegie-classified research university, Wright State University’s main campus is 12 miles northeast of downtown Dayton, Ohio, near the historic landmarks where the Wright brothers taught the world to fly. The university operates a branch campus, Wright State University–Lake Campus, on the shores of Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, Ohio. Wright State serves 11,000 students and offers nearly 300 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degree programs through six colleges and the Boonshoft School of Medicine. For more information, visit wright.edu.

About Premier Health: Based in Dayton, Ohio, Premier Health (premierhealth.com) has a mission to improve the health of the communities it serves. Home to one of the nation’s largest hospitals, the region’s only adult Level I trauma center and the largest locally based clinical laboratory, Premier Health continues to build upon a more than 130-year legacy of providing clinical excellence and compassionate care to friends and neighbors across Southwest Ohio. The health system offers award-winning care at five hospital sites: Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton with additional inpatient sites at Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville and Miami Valley Hospital North in Englewood; Atrium Medical Center in Middletown; and Upper Valley Medical Center in Miami County. In addition, Premier Health provides a comprehensive range of care choices at its seven emergency departments, eight Urgent Care locations, and more than 130 outpatient locations and affiliated primary care and specialty physician offices, as well as home health, mental health, and substance abuse services.

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