History of the Division

Frank Sladen, M.D., Physician-in-Chief of Henry Ford Hospital in 1915, studied under Sir William Osler at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Sladen appointed his former student, F. Janney Smith, M.D., as chief of the Cardio-respiratory Department which combined cardiac and pulmonary care until the Pulmonary Division was officially formed in 1949.

Division leaders

Ben E. Goodrich, M.D., 1949-1953
J. Lewis Yates, M.D., 1953
E. Osborne Coates, M.D., 1954-1977
Paul A. Kvale, M.D., 1977-1989
John Popovich, Jr., M.D., 1989-1999
Michael Eichenhorn, M.D., 1999-2012
Bruce DiGiovine, M.D., 2012-2018
Dr. Michael Eichenhorn June, 2018- July, 2020
Dr. Jack Buckley, effective August, 2020

As the specialty evolved in the 1950s, Dr. E. Osborne (“Os”) Coates was considered a national expert in tuberculosis, publishing his research in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. Drs. Paul Kvale, William Conway, John Popovich, Jr., and Michael Eichenhorn, who each trained at Ford Hospital and joined the pulmonary staff from the 1960s to 1980s, worked to expand pulmonary research and critical care medicine which led to national recognition for the Division.


The Division has participated in many critical research studies funded by the NIH and other sources:

  • Nocturnal Oxygen Therapy Trial (NOTT)
  • Lung Health I, II and III trials
  • Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial
  • Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED)
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis trials for the Specialized Center of Research (SCOR)
  • Pulmonary Artery Catheters (PACS) trial
  • National Lung Screening Trial (NLST)
  • A Case Control Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis (ACCESS)
  • Long-term Oxygen Treatment Trial (LOTT)

Growth and expansion

In the late 1990s the Interventional Pulmonology (IP) Program was established at Henry Ford Hospital by Michael Simoff, M.D. This program is among the few in the country to offer comprehensive IP services and among the first nationwide to offer non-surgical lung reduction, interventional diagnosis and treatment of lung and airways cancer, and new treatment for refractory asthma.

The growth of intensive care and critical care at Henry Ford Hospital was led by Drs. John Popovich and Michael Eichenhorn. While serving as director of the medical intensive care unit (MICU), Dr. Popovich developed the critical care training program and led the expansion of critical care medicine at Henry Ford Hospital. Under Dr. Eichenhorn’s leadership, the MICU grew to be the largest in Michigan by 2009. Dr. Eichenhorn also led the implementation of the e-ICU and completed the installation of the electronic medical record system EPIC within the MICU in 2013.

Quality improvement

The effort to continually improve quality and safety of patient care gained increased emphasis in the 1990s at Henry Ford Hospital. The Pulmonary Division has focused on decreasing ventilator-associated pneumonia and other hospital-acquired infections found in intensive care settings. Led by Dr. Conway, the “No Harm Campaign” was developed at Henry Ford Health System to integrate national, local, and homegrown efforts into one system-wide initiative to reduce harm. With a goal to decrease harm events system-wide by 50% from 2008-2013, the No Harm Campaign focused on enhancing the culture of safety, improving the quality and clarity of clinical communications, identifying top causes of harm overall and at individual points on the continuum of care, and redesigning care to eliminate common causes of harm.

Prominent division leaders

William A. Conway, M.D.
Dr. Conway completed his residency and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital and joined the Division’s staff in 1977. In 1995 Dr. Conway was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Henry Ford Hospital, a role he continued to perform after being appointed in 2004 to Chief Quality Officer of Henry Ford Health System. Under Dr. Conway’s leadership, the System was awarded the Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award in 2011 for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality for the Henry Ford Health System No Harm Campaign. He also played a key role in the System being named a recipient of the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest recognition for business performance excellence. In 2012 he was appointed Executive Vice President of Henry Ford Health System and CEO of the 1,200-physician Henry Ford Medical Group. Dr. Conway continued in his role as Chief Quality Officer until January 2014. He is the past chairman of the American Medical Group Association, past chairman of the American Medical Group Foundation, and a founder of the Group Practice Improvement Network.

Michael Eichenhorn, M.D.
Dr. Eichenhorn completed his post-graduate studies in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in the late 1970s and subsequently joined the Division. He served as Division Head for more than a decade. He led the expansion of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Henry Ford Hospital to become the largest in Michigan in 2009 and implemented electronic technologies to develop a fully functioning e-ICU environment. Dr. Eichenhorn has received numerous grants including from the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health as the principal investigator in trials regarding pulmonary disease.

Paul Kvale, M.D.
Dr. Kvale completed his post-graduate training at Henry Ford Hospital and at Brompton Hospital in London, England. He joined the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the 1960s and served as Division Head from 1977-1989. Under his leadership the Division’s research activities expanded to include lung cancer, prostate-colon-lung and ovarian cancer screening trial, national lung screening trial, and emphysema. He is a founding member of the Association of Pulmonary Program Directors and the American Association for Bronchology, and former President of the American College of Chest Physicians.

John Popovich, Jr., M.D.
Dr. Popovich’s first encounter with Henry Ford Hospital was as a medical student at the University of Michigan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Henry Ford Hospital, joining the staff in the 1980. He served for 10 years as division head of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, became Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine in 1999, Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs at Henry Ford in 2008 in which he led the development of the Henry Ford Physician Network, and in 2010 became the first physician in more than 40 years to lead Henry Ford Hospital as its President and CEO. He also currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Henry Ford Health System.


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