CMU Health Services forms alliance with College of Medicine

Central Michigan University’s Health Services is now a part of the College of Medicine.

In a release sent out Tuesday by CMU, “the partnership will give UHS and its patients direct access to CMED’s newly formed clinical practices.”

The release said the UHS will “renew its focus on raising awareness of the health care resources available to students on campus, such as preventive advice, counseling services and immunizations … UHS also will assess ways to address barriers to care such as being underinsured or uninsured.”

CMED dean Ernest Yoder said the idea for this came from his own experiences in health services at Wayne State University. His leadership team and University President George Ross’s cabinet had been discussing the move for the past six months.

Ross approved the decision, which went into effect July 1.

“The engagement of the health staff has been very good,” Yoder said. “We’ve had no pushback from the staff or the clinic. It’s been very positive so far. “

Yoder said the new system will not require an increase in the original budget.

“The university has committed to the same level of support,” he said. “We’re trying to see if we can be efficient and cut costs . . . We’re not eliminating any jobs.”

Rather than eliminating jobs, the alliance will actually add a physician, forming a team of three physicians and a physician’s assistant, Yoder said. They are currently recruiting for the third physician.

No medical student will practice treatment on other students, and no medical school faculty who treat students will evaluate those students academically, as this would violate confidentiality, Yoder said.

According to the release, Sarah Yonder, UHS associate director of medical services, and Angela Smith, UHS assistant director of business services, will continue to manage day-to-day operations.

“A lot of it stays the same under different management,” he said. “I want to stress we want to work with students to find what is necessary for them.”

Yoder said they would talk to the Student Government Association about surveys and focus groups to assure the services, times and locations of the clinic will be what students want and need. His team plans to “start the conversation right after Labor Day and have the data implemented early fall.”

“As the College of Medicine develops its clinical practice sites, it makes perfect sense to provide additional top-quality, high-value health care for our own student body,” CMED associate dean Sean Kesterson said in the release.


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