Partnership with Synergy progresses CMU toward accreditation; alliance effective this January

Synergy Medical Education Alliance will partner with the new College of Medicine to move the college closer to Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation.

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees approved the partnership, effective Jan. 1, at its meeting Thursday. Dr. Ernest Yoder, the college’s dean, called the partnership an “exciting development.”

The board also approved creation of a non-profit 501c3 corporation, which will operate as Central Health Advancement Services. CMU will have two voting members on the board of six.

“LCME was very reassured by our relationship with Synergy,” Yoder said. “This affiliation will bring us into perfect compliance with them.”

SMEA also is affiliated with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, but MSU is not involved in CMU’s partnership.

Yoder expressed desire to work with MSU.

“We are very strongly interested in a collaborative relationship with MSU,” Yoder said. “It’s very possible.”

Board chairwoman Stephanie Comai said she did not see any pitfalls in the collaboration before voting in support of the resolution.

Comai requested confirmation from General Counsel Manuel Rupe.

“The partnership will have a tremendous impact for the community,” Rupe said. “I don’t see any downside.”

University President George Ross said the College of Medicine’s other affiliations will not be affected by the partnership with SMEA.

“We don’t have to start over,” Ross said. “It will be included with the other affiliations.”

Yoder said SMEA is an entity partner of Saginaw-based Saint Mary’s and Covenant hospitals; students will partner with the institutions during years two to four of their education.

“This is a good opportunity for a true, three-way partnership,” Yoder said.

He said the university is pleased with such a short distance between the school and partner hospitals, and that the Saginaw locations will become an “east campus” for the College of Medicine.