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CMU, Covenant, Ascension St. Mary’s solidify education commitment

Partnership focuses on graduate medical education and clinical services

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston


Building on more than 50 years of graduate medical training, health care in the Great Lakes Bay Region took a significant step forward this month as two Saginaw hospitals signed a long-term education agreement with Central Michigan University.

CMU, Covenant HealthCare and Ascension St. Mary's Hospital — the founding members of the collaborative organization CMU Medical Education Partners — reaffirmed their commitment to graduate medical education by signing a 25-year affiliation agreement. 

"This historic agreement provides a sustainable framework for resident education and increases the health care capacity for the region," said Dr. George Kikano, CMU's vice president for Health Affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. "Residents in this program learn from highly trained medical professionals and from serving the large and varied population of Saginaw and the 14 other counties they serve."

Residency is the next step of preparation for a doctor who has graduated from medical college and is training in a focused area of practice. CMU Medical Education Partners manages 60 faculty-physicians and offers residency programs in emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, podiatric medicine and surgery, and psychiatry, plus two fellowships in emergency medical services and child and adolescent psychiatry. Physicians employed by CMU Medical Education Partners are CMU faculty members appointed through the College of Medicine. 

"This agreement provides a vision for comprehensive educational programs that will enhance medical services and public health initiatives while providing a pipeline of physicians for the region," said Dr. Samuel Shaheen, executive director of CMU Medical Education Partners, noting that two-thirds of doctors remain in the regions where they complete their residencies.

"Ascension St. Mary's is proud of our continued participation and collaboration with CMU," said Dr. Stephanie Duggan, regional president for Ascension Michigan Northern Ministries. "Having well-developed and recognized medical education within our community will benefit our state by helping recruit physicians, retain doctors who choose to train with us and fill the gap of physicians needed in the future to care for the communities we serve." 

Ascension is a faith-based health care organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading nonprofit and Catholic health systems in the United States.

Covenant HealthCare is a nonprofit health system and the most comprehensive health care provider in the Great Lakes Bay Region. It offers a broad spectrum of specialized programs and services for patients throughout east-central Michigan.

"This affiliation agreement is a reaffirmation of Covenant HealthCare's commitment to the CMU College of Medicine and graduate medical education. We are excited to work collaboratively to continue efforts leading graduate medical education and clinical training into the future," said Ed Bruff, president and chief executive officer, Covenant HealthCare.

CMU's College of Medicine, one of six fully accredited medical schools in Michigan, prepares diverse, culturally competent physicians to improve access to high-quality health care, especially in medically underserved populations.


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