Frequently Asked Questions


What does a Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University partnership mean?

It means that together, Henry Ford and MSU will foster innovative, ground-breaking research; provide best-in-class care; train and increase diversity among the next generation of health care professionals; and address the health care needs of traditionally underserved communities. The impactfulness results from the tight integration of discovery, education and clinical care. The unmet needs of the patient and the community will become the focus of discovery. In so doing, needed advances in health and wellness become available more quickly to patients and communities everywhere.

The partnership significantly serves as a unique primary affiliation among the first of its kind for the region between a fully integrated academic health system and major state university.

Are Henry Ford and MSU currently collaborating on programs?

Yes. The two institutions have a long history of providing student educational placements for the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine College of Nursing students at several Henry Ford hospitals MSU will expand its presence in Detroit through the development of a regional campus located within the existing Henry Ford Detroit campus footprint.

Henry Ford/MSU have had focused collaboration in health research and innovation. Most recently, they closely collaborated in the response to COVID-19. Collaboration is furthered because graduates of MSU health colleges and clinicians completing training at Henry Ford Health are employed in both institutions and there is a shared recognition of the importance of education and research in delivering the best care.

What will this mean for patients?

The goal is to bring greater hope, health and healing to all those in need through accessible, affordable and compassionate care. With a bench to bedside approach, our patients will benefit from discoveries made available in real time; expanding our commitment to translational research programs that have a tangible and immediate effect in treating our patients. Best available care will be locally accessible. Greatest breadth and depth of expertise will be brought to bear in addressing unmet needs. Providers will have the background, diversity and the training needed to become partners in solving health challenges. Patients affiliated with either institution will share the benefits from this enhanced partnership including increased access to physicians and premier specialists, clinical trials, and translational research. The benefits for our patients will grow as the partnership grows.

What will this mean for students?

Alignment between a top academic institution and a leading integrated health system will accelerate the recruitment and retention of top clinical and academic talent. Henry Ford and MSU are preparing the next generation of premier health care professionals well positioned to serve the state of Michigan. Pipeline programs extending from k-12 to practice generate practitioners alert to the unique needs of communities and optimally prepared to serve where they can make a difference. A key element to Henry Ford’s and MSU’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts is workforce development, with a commitment to train diverse physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers who can meet Michigan’s 21st Century health care needs and reflect the diverse cultures both institutions serve.

Students also will be prepared for the integrated care models that characterize contemporary clinical practice. The best care is ‘team care.' Preparation through progressive training models rooted in early collaboration across disciplines (medical, nursing, pharma, public health, social work); made possible when trainees understand the skills and goals of their future ‘teammates’ and the best ways to support each other’s efforts.

Importantly, opportunities for students are beyond those seeking health profession degrees. Healthcare is now the largest employer in our nation. Students seeking careers in improving health from all disciplines such as social justice and equity, supply chain, ethics, arts and humanities, food science, engineering, communications, computer science, and education will have opportunity. Indeed, the challenges of health for all will not be met without mobilizing broadest input.

Lastly, healthcare knowledge is expanding at a pace greater than has been seen in human history. Students need to acquire existing knowledge but as importantly, they need to be able to be skilled at identifying and implementing new knowledge into the care they will deliver. This preparation happens when students have the opportunity to train in an environment defined by innovative solutions being created and brought to bear every single day and where there is an opportunity for students to participate in research projects. Moreover, a pathway of training in discovery and implementation can be established that begins in undergraduate training and carries through residency, fellowship, advance practice and post-doctoral studies such that students interested in being leaders in healthcare will have a path that is local and nationally leading.

What will this mean for me as a Henry Ford or MSU employee?

You are at the center of all of the impactfulness this partnership creates. Understanding that our organizations are defined by individuals committed to making a positive impact, this will mean an expansion of the extent to and manner in which we bring hope, health and healing. At this time, roles and day-to-day activities will remain largely the same. More information will be provided on how employees can be part of this transformational change as details of the definitive agreement are refined and developed.

A critical focus throughout this transition is to ensure both institutions are delivering on their mission and vision to students, staff, customers, and patients by continuing to deliver outstanding care. If employees have any questions, please speak to respective managers.

We are still in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. Is this the right time for such a partnership?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry Ford Health and MSU recognized how solidifying a collaboration could make a critical impact on the health of Michiganders and others from outside the state, and began talks to outline an approach to an institutional partnership. We recognized our complementary strengths and shared recognition of the importance of discovery and education to providing the best in health care. We found opportunities to collaborate in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic that confirmed that our values were shared and that synergy was immediately necessary and realizable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency and importance of innovation and discovery in patient care and public health, especially among our vulnerable populations. This pandemic has given us a unique global view of the power of medical science in all its touchpoints and the unprecedented need to accelerate the translation of advancements into the communities we serve.

Will Henry Ford Medical Group grow as a result of this partnership? Will MSU affiliated physicians join Henry Ford?

Both institutions are exploring options and remain open to adding additional members to the Henry Ford Medical Group, especially as their geographical footprint expands. In the meantime, Henry Ford and MSU have identified multiple opportunities for clinical collaboration in providing local access to advanced expertise, across some service lines, in quality initiatives and. as well as data sharing and quality initiative opportunities.

Will HFMG clinicians become MSU faculty?

Faculty opportunities for Henry Ford providers will be made available through MSU’s normal process; which in the health colleges means embracing individuals committed to excellence in discovery, education and clinical care. Notably, HFMG has a century long tradition of clinicians so committed. These discussions are ongoing as part of the definitive agreement process.

What is the financial impact of this partnership?

Given the widespread financial impact of COVID-19, both institutions are taking a thoughtful and measured approach, prioritizing aspects of our partnership over time. Henry Ford and MSU are actively pursuing options for joint philanthropic efforts and public/private partnership funding sources that are mutually aligned with the two organizations’ strategic goals and values.

How will the partnership seek to incorporate, and address issues related to health equity and the social influences of health?

Henry Ford and MSU are committed to addressing health inequities and disparities in the communities we serve. We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion should be foundational in every element of our partnership and in everything we do. The organizations will work together to identify new opportunities for joint research and idea-sharing through our scientific, academic and clinical communities. This partnership will work toward key goals that seek to eliminate health disparities, address the social determinants of health and remove barriers to opportunity for medical education and training.

How will this partnership acknowledge and respond to the unique demographic and community needs of those we serve?

At Henry Ford and MSU, we believe quality and equitable health care is a fundamental building block of a strong community. Among our partnership goals is a commitment to ensuring that no matter who you are or where you live, your health will not limit your potential. We will address health inequity and disparities in both urban and rural communities through developing innovative models rooted in strong community engagement and multi-disciplinary research. We are also working to coordinate our clinical programs to provide better access to care across the state, with a focus on the diversity of health care needs experienced across our unique communities. Another key element to our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts is workforce development, with a commitment to training diverse future physicians, nurses and other health care providers who can meet Michigan’s 21st Century health care needs.

New Facility

Is there a new facility being built as part of this partnership? Where will it be located?

At this time, the development and opening of a new building are anticipated in 2026. The new building will be located in Detroit on or near the existing Henry Ford Health campus.

Will my office or workspace be moving as a result?

There will not be any workplace disruption directly related to this transition in the near future.

Which research programs will be housed there?

At this time, no decisions have been made about space for specific research programs. It is expected that cancer programming will have a significant presence as part of the goal of achieving an NCI designation. Additionally, we do hope to recruit joint researchers from both institutions for work in this new and innovative space.

Research and Education

What is the process and timing for Henry Ford Health employees to receive MSU faculty appointments?

Work is underway to structure an efficient, transparent and timely faculty appointment process. It is anticipated that employees will begin receiving faculty appointments in late 2021, with a primary emphasis on expediting faculty appointments for researchers with federal funding, due to the grant attribution process.

How will training slots and clinical placements for the MSU Health Sciences colleges be handled across the Henry Ford system?

Beginning in summer 2022, the colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Human Medicine, and Nursing and will have incremental student training slots and clinical placements across Henry Ford sites. Increasing the number of MSU students will be done through a coordinated approach, beginning with the introduction of human medicine clerkships at Henry Ford Hospital and increase of osteopathic medicine clerkships at Allegiance, Macomb and Wyandotte hospitals. In addition, there will be enhanced access for both human medicine and osteopathic medicine fourth-year student rotations and increased clinical placements for nursing students across all Henry Ford sites.

Are there plans to include a College of Nursing campus at Henry Ford Hospital? Will there be an opportunity for nursing degree advancement for Henry Ford employees?

MSU will expand its presence in Detroit through the development of a regional campus located within the existing Henry Ford footprint. All the human health colleges will be included in this effort.

As it does now, MSU will continue to offer nursing degree advancement for eligible Henry Ford employees. Programs include RN to BSN, traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and advanced degrees.

Will Henry Ford employees and dependents be eligible for scholarships or tuition discounts to pursue educational programs at MSU?

At this time, no scholarships or tuition discounts are being offered through the HSC for Henry Ford employees or dependents who wish to pursue degrees at MSU. We hope to explore additional options for employee benefits at both institutions in the future.

How will research administration and compliance functions (e.g. IRB) be handled?

At this time, existing research administration and compliance functions will continue to operate. Various options for joint research design processes that are as seamless as possible for investigators and staff are being considered for future implementation.

Will the National Institute of Health and industry indirect rates be changing? If so, to what rates, and will they apply only to new projects?

The intent is to achieve the best rate possible and that does not dilute the existing indirect cost rate for Henry Ford or MSU.

Commitment to Cancer

What is meant by an NCI designation and why is it important?

There are 71 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Centers in 36 states in the U.S., two of which are in Michigan. These centers are officially recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and depth and breadth of their programs, these centers receive much needed funding from NCI to continue developing and delivering cutting edge cancer treatments and research.

What is meant by a “fully integrated cancer program?”

Henry Ford and Michigan State will be each other’s primary clinical and research partner for the work we do in cancer, aligning programs and collective assets, including the Henry Ford Cancer Institute which includes the new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, with MSU’s assets for cancer research.

Why a joint cancer program?

The National Institute of Medicine predicts the incidence of cancer in the United States will increase about 20% over the next 10 years, and 40% over the next 20 years. A multitude of research has shown the high prevalence of cancer rates in our region specifically, due to a variety of factors including air pollution and other contaminants. The scope and scale of Henry Ford Health cancer program combines with MSU’s statewide research and educational outreach in manner that can bring improved cancer outcomes to all. Moreover, health disparities are pervasive in cancer care across the nation. The shared goal is to create a truly comprehensive approach to cancer care that integrates translational research and cutting-edge treatments that are accessible to everyone.

Will there be an effort to recruit faculty with experience applying for and renewing an NCI P30 grant?

One of the goals of the partnership is to achieve NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center designation within the next five years. Henry Ford and MSU recognize that previous experience in this area will be beneficial in helping achieve this goal.

Wayne State University

What is the status of Henry Ford Health’s current relationship with WSU?

Knowing that Wayne State University and Henry Ford share a vision around exceptional health care, education and patient service, the System negotiated in good faith with WSU and was disappointed that a broader partnership could not be forged. This endeavor is, in no way, intended to negate or damage that relationship. Henry Ford greatly values and respects WSU’s critical presence and role in southeast Michigan and plans to continue joint training for medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied health students.

What is the status of MSU’s current relationship with WSU?

MSU and WSU have a long established collaboration in research with multiple shared research grants that are focused on health and health disparities. WSU, MSU and UofM are partners in Michigan’s University Research Corridor, an alliance that is focused on economic development and recruiting partners to the state, bringing nearly 19 billion dollars to the Michigan economy every year.

Will HFMG providers be able to dually hold faculty appointments at WSU and MSU?

Members of the Henry Ford Medical Group will be able to hold both a WSU and MSU faculty appointment concurrently.

Impact to City of Detroit

How will this help the city of Detroit and its residents? Is Henry Ford Health abandoning the city?

Henry Ford and MSU are committed to increasing their presence in the city of Detroit – working toward the development of a joint Research Institute on the Henry Ford Detroit campus as well as a greater presence for MSU in the city of Detroit. We anticipate this partnership will result in:

  • Job creation for Detroit residents
  • Increased access to health care options in the city
  • Medical and nursing education and training opportunities for Detroit residents
  • Increased diversity of future healthcare providers
  • A draw to Henry Ford Health MSU as the destination for the nations best practitioners, researchers and students
  • Attracting industry partners and start-ups interested in health innovation

A strong commitment to the city of Detroit is at the heart of this partnership. As leaders in each institution’s respective areas of advanced research and medical education, complex care and precision Health, population health management and value-based care, Henry Ford and MSU believe they can make a greater impact as closely aligned partners than they could individually.

Boilerplates and Helpful Information

About Henry Ford Health: Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health is a non-profit, academic and integrated health system comprising five acute-care hospitals, three behavioral health facilities, a health plan, and 250+ care sites including medical centers, walk-in and urgent care clinics, pharmacies, eye care facilities and other health care operations. The health system has more than 33,000 employees and is home to the 1,900-member Henry Ford Medical Group, one of the nation’s oldest physician groups. More than 2,500 physicians are also affiliated with the health system through the Henry Ford Physician Network and Jackson Health Network. Henry Ford Health is also one of the nation’s major academic medical centers, receiving nearly $100 million in annual research funding, among Michigan’s largest NIH-funded institutions. Also, an active participant in medical education and training, the health system has trained nearly 40% of physicians currently practicing in Michigan and provides education and training for other health professionals including nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and respiratory technicians.

Henry Ford Innovation Institute: Established in 2012, the HFII is the flagship of Henry Ford Health’s commitment to innovation and serves as both a physical and virtual resource. It provides System innovators access to an array of intellectual asset-related resources and programs that include technological opportunity assessment, engineering services for prototypes, seminars designed to convey opportunities, programs aimed at developing specific medical products and broad educational offerings in the realms of translational medicine and the entrepreneurial arts. These resources include defined and rapid process for vetting new inventions, subject matter experts for in-depth market assessment, executives-in-residence, pre-clinical and prototype partners and facilities, and a world-renowned test bed for medical care innovations.

Henry Ford & COVID-19: Henry Ford Health continues to care for a large majority of Michigan’s COVID-19 patients. During the first surge in the Spring 2020, the health system played a leading role – serving as the official advisor for the city of Detroit and its health department, as well as in leading roles with the state of Michigan and advising the Vice President’s COVID-19 task force. Additionally, the health system is leading or participating in more than two hundred research studies and clinical trials dedicated to treatment or prevention of COVID-19 and is also engaged in predictive modeling through its division of Public Health Sciences. During the second surge that began in Fall 2020, the health system participated in two clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and was among those health systems to offer the first vaccinations in the state, beginning with frontline healthcare workers. The health system is also participating in multiple efforts with state and local partners for joint advocacy campaigns encouraging vigilance with safety measures.

About Health Alliance Plan: Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to individuals and companies of all sizes. For 60 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives it touches. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid (through HAP Empowered Health Plan), Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, as well as personalized customer service. HAP is an operating unit of Henry Ford Health, one of the nation’s leading health care systems.

About MSU: Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

MSU/Research: With funding from multiple federal agencies including the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture and Department of Defense, MSU’s annual total research expenditure is more than $700 million. U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU first in the nation for graduate programs in African history, curriculum and instruction, nuclear physics, organizational psychology, rehabilitation counseling and supply chain management. MSU is recognized for community participatory research in public health; embraced as partners who respect that enduring solutions are only identified together. Our land grant mission enables us to be present, alert and responsive to individual and community challenges state wide.

MSU/Health Education: MSU has offered health care education for more than a century. Combined, the human health colleges – College of Human Medicine, College of Nursing and College of Osteopathic Medicine – have nearly 2,000 medical students, 2,500 residents and fellows, 500+ nursing students and 20,000 alumni, most of whom practice in Michigan. Both the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Nursing have a longstanding partnership with Henry Ford Health. MSU is the only university in the country with on-campus schools graduating allopathic and osteopathic physicians, as well as nurses and veterinarians.

MSU Health Care: MSU Health Care is the multi-specialty medical practice of MSU, with 266 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants across 14 clinical departments. More than 40 clinics in 14 locations offer multiple primary and specialty services as well as pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services.

MSU/COVID-19: The novel coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the life of the MSU community worldwide. But even during these unprecedented times, Spartans are stepping up in countless ways such as donating much-needed medical supplies, volunteering their time and performing critical research. Also, true to its land-grant mission, MSU continues to extend its reach beyond its campus borders into all 83 Michigan counties. During this time of uncertainty for Michigan’s families and communities, MSU is working even harder to extend free resources and support services to individuals, families, communities and businesses across the state. Additionally, two of MSU’s distinguished faculty were appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Racial Disparities to help address access to health care during the pandemic.