MSU health realignment announcement

Feb. 14, 2018 

Interim MSU President John Engler

Thank you for joining us.

We’re here today to share an exciting announcement ... one with potential to revolutionize how health care is delivered to the MSU community and beyond.

That means students, staff, faculty, and others around the community—and the state—who come to MSU for health care.

Our goal is to establish a uniform standard of excellence with the organizational changes we’re announcing this morning.

It is our aim to use these changes to assure patient safety and quality of care, in a system with no wrong doors for access.


Many people are aware that health care poses a huge challenge today.

To better address issues of access, safety, transparency, cost and quality, we’re planning to improve the coordination and integration of care delivery and health resource utilization here at MSU.

I have asked Provost June Youatt to establish the new role of associate provost for health affairs.

June will talk more about it, but this position will be responsible for oversight of all of MSU’s health services to ensure safety and quality.

These include student health clinics ... physical therapy and trainers for student-athletes ... the MSU HealthTeam ... and all clinical activities for the Colleges of Human Medicine, Nursing and Osteopathic Medicine.

Under this new structure, the two medical colleges and the College of Nursing — which is graciously hosting us today — will remain intact.

I also will be recommending to the Board of Trustees on Friday that the College of Human Medicine be renamed, simply, the College of Medicine.

The college deans will all be joining me at the Trustees meeting to discuss this new alignment and the opportunities for MSU to transform health care.

Challenge of health care

This should be viewed as Phase 1 of an over-arching vision for health care that many people here have had for some time.

In my years working with the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers, not a week went by without concern being expressed that the growth of health care into a $3 trillion sector of the U.S. economy is unsustainable.

We face challenges not only as result of the cost of health care, but also concerns about quality of the services delivered.

Just a couple weeks ago, three of America’s top business leaders announced a joint venture to try to get a grip on health care.

Jeff Bezos from Amazon, Warren Buffet from Berkshire Hathaway and Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan Chase are combining their corporate heft to drive the cost of health care down.

Warren Buffet said, as only he can say: “The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.”

He also said that his group isn’t coming to the problem with all the answers, but refuses to accept ballooning costs as inevitable.

I’m here to say that Spartans don’t accept that as inevitable, either, and we have a different — and powerful — set of assets that we can leverage, too.

Phase 2

While Phase 1 will launch immediately, we’re preparing a second phase.

We plan to convene leading health experts from across the nation to talk with us, advise us, and help us craft a strategy that fully utilizes the enormous talent already in place here at MSU.

Our faculty, our researchers and our assets give us a powerful base to build on.

As we prepare for the second phase, we will talk with leaders on campus and across the world. Those conversations will assess what other assets could be brought to bear on the search for solutions to the pressing issues surrounding health care.

And they will challenge us to be bold.

Now I want to introduce our next speaker, who will describe our plans in greater detail: MSU’s Provost, June Pierce Youatt.