Covenant HealthCare and CMU forge 25-year deal to train medical students in Saginaw

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SAGINAW, MI — Tuesday was a good day for the medical field in Saginaw, said the doctors, community leaders and medical personnel who gathered to watch two organizations form a long-term partnership.

On Tuesday, July 30, Covenant HealthCare and Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine forged a 25-year partnership allowing CMU med students to train at Covenant.

“This agreement says that Saginaw will be the principal majority sight for the training of its students,” said Covenant President Edward Bruff. “That is huge. We are very honored to have this.”

The CMU College of Medicine was established in 2009 to improve access to health care, particularly in Michigan’s rural and medically underserved regions, and to address an anticipated shortage of 4,000 to 6,000 physicians in the state by 2020, according to The Association of American Medical Colleges.

CMU has been working to train med school students in Saginaw. Officials celebrated the grand opening of the CMU College of Medicine at Covenant HealthCare in June 2015.

“Medical students improve the quality of care delivered in our communities,” Bruff said.

As early as 2012, plans were presented to build two medical colleges in Saginaw: one on Ascension St. Mary’s campus and the current one on Covenant’s campus.

Regional President of Ascension Stephanie Duggan said St. Mary’s is working with CMU College of Medicine toward a similar long-term affiliation agreement.

“Since the inception of the CMU College of Medicine, Ascension St. Mary’s is proud of the equal partnership we have shared with Covenant HealthCare to create a high-quality education and training environment for medical students and residents,” Duggan said.

George E. Kikano, vice president for health affairs at Central Michigan University said that things were just getting started and to prepare for something bigger to come in the next five to 10 years.

Kikano was named dean of the College of Medicine in 2015.

“It’s about partnerships and programs, not brick and mortar,” Kikano said.

Robert O. Davies, CMU’s president, called it a great day in the state of Michigan before ending his remarks with, “Fire up, Chips!”

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