$23.1 million CMED Saginaw unveiled with tour and ribbon cutting


CMED Saginaw, a $23.1 million project is connected to Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw, MI. 

Central Michigan University's College of Medicine Saginaw facility was unveiled Wednesday at Covenant Healthcare.

The $23.1 million project will be a learning facility for third and fourth year medical students. The first medical class will be made up of 64 third-year students that will begin classes July 6.

"The building is fabulous and I'm really excited to start attending classes here with all of this state of the art technology," said Brett Pierce, a third-year medical student. "I went to CMU for my undergraduate and I was excited to be returning to my alma mater for medical school."

The unveiling kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the lobby of the facility. President George Ross took time to reflect on the origins of CMED.

"Eight years ago, a group of physicians talked about how important it was to have a medical school in Mid-Michigan. Today that vision is a reality," Ross said. "The reality of CMED is through the eyes of these medical students."

Tours of the 10,000 square foot facility were given by medical students. Vince Grzywacz, a third-year medical student, led one group of students who had just completed their first year in the medical school.

"In each of these rooms students are able to practice with real patients and simulators," Grzywacz said. "Across these rooms are simulation debriefing rooms. Peers can evaluate the performance of a medical student. Each of the simulations is recorded and students are able to view them for homework."

A presentation was given by leaders of CMU, CMED, St. Mary's of Michigan and Covenant Healthcare. Ross began the presentations by talking about the purpose of CMED.

"CMU became a teaching school because the state needed teachers," Ross said. "Today the state needs primary care physicians and CMU has stepped up to meet that need."

Ross called the opening of the facility a milestone for CMED. The president wrapped up his speech by introducing CMED's newly appointed dean George Kikano.

"This is more than a new building; it is the first step in furthering Saginaw's economic development," Kikano said. "We have over 200 medical students who have ties to the Saginaw community. Here at CMED we've paved a pipeline of primary care physicians in rural areas--this is the first piece of the pipeline."

Kikano said 83 percent of CMED's first, second and third classes are students from the state, all of which will do clinical rotations in Saginaw.

The presentation concluded with the chief executive officer of St. Mary's of Michigan, Betsy Aderholdt, and Covenant Healthcare, Ed Bruff talking about the economic benefit of the CMED facility.

"People are calling this the 'pipeline' of Saginaw but I think of it more as the 'lifeline'," Bruff said. "We're bring these medical students and future physicians into Michigan and the Great Lakes area. We have a really good chance of keeping them here too."