September 28, 2018

Wayne State, Henry Ford Health System sign letter of intent for expansive partnership

Detroit – Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University (WSU) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to expand their long-term partnership and bring two Detroit anchor institutions even closer together. This new partnership will create a collaborative model focused on achieving the highest levels of excellence in patient care, a transformational approach to research and community health, and an innovative curriculum for the education and training of the next generation of medical and health professionals.

With a non-binding LOI signed after many months of talks, the two institutions will begin working out the details of the partnership in definitive agreements, which they hope to finalize in early 2019. Governing boards for both organizations have independently expressed their unanimous support to move forward.

The enhanced partnership will designate Henry Ford Hospital as the primary institutional affiliate for the WSU School of Medicine, the WSU College of Nursing, and the WSU Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

M. Roy Wilson

Another hallmark will be the creation of a joint Health Sciences Center (HSC) to integrate and fulfill shared education, research and patient care missions. The bottom-line goal is to radically improve the health of the diverse populations of Detroit and the Midwest, including the most vulnerable populations. 

The HSC will not be a physical location, but a separate operating and governance structure, including a president, board, budget, and governing committees. The HSC will provide strategic and collaborative input for the partnership’s clinical, research, and educational programs and activities.

“With Henry Ford, we have a partner who shares our mission to change medicine as we know it while infusing energy and talent into the community,” said M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University. “We believe we are creating something special here.”

Wright Lassiter, III

“This is truly a groundbreaking collaboration – a private nonprofit organization and a public institution coming together in a revolutionary way,” said Wright Lassiter, III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. “As we look to the future of patient care and the desire to make a long-standing impact on the health and wellness of our community, we believe that we can better achieve these goals through a transformative partnership than we could as institutions working independently.”

This is not a merger or an acquisition and will not prohibit either institution from partnering with other entities. Wayne State and Henry Ford will retain their respective autonomy.

Henry Ford and Wayne State have collaborated for many years, but this partnership is a natural extension and broadening of an existing relationship. For example, more than 100 Wayne State medical students currently do clinical rotations in Henry Ford Hospital, and Henry Ford’s Bone and Joint Center is located in Wayne State’s Integrated Biosciences Center.   

Together, Wayne State and Henry Ford have served the people of Detroit and beyond for a combined 253 years. 

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.

About Henry Ford Health System

Henry Ford Health System is a six-hospital system headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of the nation's leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, recognized for clinical excellence and innovation. Henry Ford Health System provides both health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education. Henry Ford Health System is led by President & CEO Wright Lassiter III. Visit to learn more.


Brenda Craig
Phone: 313-283-8331
Matt Lockwood
Phone: 248-622-8060

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