MSU Board of Trustees approves six new departments

October 27, 2023

Michigan State University sign among fall foliage

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today approved six new departments in the MSU College of Human Medicine. The departments – dermatology, otolaryngology, pathology, radiation oncology, urology, and neurosurgery – are being developed as part of the Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences partnership.

By creating the six departments, MSU is fulfilling another goal set when it entered a 30-year partnership with Henry Ford Health in 2021. Each new department will be statewide with faculty from Detroit to Marquette, although the majority of faculty will be based at Henry Ford Health in Detroit.

“Great universities are defined by colleges and those colleges are defined by their departments. Departments are defined by faculty, staff and students who create the content and context for learning," said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “The creation of these new departments enables work in new domains by faculty, staff and learners across HFH + MSU. And in so naming and defining, our university and our partner HFH create the opportunity to expand our work in discovery, innovation and education, together."

“Henry Ford offers renowned clinical and applied research expertise in these new departments, and we are thrilled to partner with our MSU colleagues to accelerate the delivery of unapparelled education and care throughout the state,” said Steven Kalkanis, M.D., Henry Ford + MSU president, and Henry Ford Health CEO.
The new departments will expand the educational and research opportunities for College of Human Medicine students and improve their access to residency programs in those medical specialties.

“The path to better health is identifying unmet needs of patients with research that finds solutions and taking those solutions to the bedside and the world through education and clinical care,” said Norman Beauchamp Jr., executive vice president for health sciences and Henry Ford + MSU board chair. “This addition of six new departments to our partnership increases the ability of MSU and Henry Ford Health to bring Health, Hope, and Healing to all. It also creates the optimal ecosystem to train a new generation of health care providers.”

The new departments include:

  • Dermatology, which treats more than 3,000 conditions and diseases of the skin, hair, and nails that affect one in four Americans each year.
  • Neurosurgery, which diagnoses and treats disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves and supporting blood vessels, including congenital abnormalities, trauma, tumors, vascular anomalies, seizures, infections, and abnormalities of the aging, such as stroke, functional disorders, or degenerative diseases of the spine.
  • Urology, which provides medical and surgical care for disorders of the male and female urinary tracts and the male reproductive organs.
  • Radiation Oncology, a vital specialty in the multidisciplinary cancer team, using radiation therapy to treat cancer.
  • Pathology, which engages in patient care by examining liquid or solid tissue samples to diagnose disease.
  • Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, which provide care to treat and prevent diseases, allergies, neoplasms, deformities, disorders and injuries of the ears, nose, sinuses, throat, respiratory and upper alimentary systems, face, jaws and the other head and neck systems.

“These new departments will create additional academic homes for our expanding medical school faculty across the state of Michigan,” said College of Human Medicine Dean Aron Sousa, MD. “In addition, they will offer new opportunities for strengthening and enriching educational and research endeavors for the College of Human Medicine.”

Until now, College of Human Medicine students could study any of these specialties through brief rotations. By creating a department for each specialty, MSU is greatly increasing students’ access to mentoring by physicians in each specialty and improve their chances of being accepted into residency programs.

The new departments are part of a commitment by Henry Ford + MSU to achieve critical health care and educational goals while addressing social issues that impact health outcomes for patients in Michigan and beyond.

This story was originally published on MSUToday.