Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine is expanding its footprint into southwest Michigan through a new affiliation with Spectrum Health Lakeland.
College of Medicine students now will be able to complete their clinical rotations at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph and Lakeland Hospital Niles, along with other surrounding facilities. Last year, CMU medical students began taking part in family medicine rotations at Lakeland.
“The addition of Spectrum Health Lakeland as an affiliate of the College of Medicine allows us another opportunity to train students in Michigan, with a focus on rural and underserved communities,” said Dr. Steve Vance, CMU associate dean of clinical education.
Twenty-four CMU medical students eventually will be based at Spectrum Health Lakeland for the third and fourth years of their training. They will be exposed to high-quality care and have the opportunity to learn alongside residents in internal medicine, family medicine and emergency medicine, Vance said.
Southwest and central Michigan face many of the same health care challenges, such as poor access to and a shortage of physicians, he said.
“Lakeland adds a wealth of clinical, teaching and research opportunities,” Vance said. “The alignment of our missions provides a foundation for a long-standing, mutually beneficial partnership.”
Dr. Michelino Mancini, chief academic officer for Spectrum Health Lakeland, is equally positive about the venture.
“Over the past few years, the graduate medical education department at Spectrum Health Lakeland has focused diligently on training future physicians in our community through program growth and strategic partnerships,” Mancini said.
“We are confident that our affiliation with Central Michigan University will help further align similar cultures with a shared focus on caring for our communities and educating future leaders in health care.”
Dr. George Kikano, dean of CMU’s College of Medicine, said he looks forward to starting a long-term collaboration with Lakeland.
“Working together, we will supply a pipeline of top-quality providers for the region, research support, faculty development and continuing medical education opportunities,” he said.
The College of Medicine has more than 50 clinical affiliation agreements with hospitals and practices throughout the state.