Dean's Update

December 9, 2022 - Aron Sousa, MD

Dean Aron Sousa with text overlay "Dean's Update"Friends,

Many of you have heard about the recently announced Michigan Medicine takeover of Sparrow Health System. This does not gild our partnerships with Sparrow. The faculty of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (CHM), the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), and the College of Nursing (CON) provide essential clinical services at Sparrow.

The Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sparrow, where premature infants of our community receive state of the art care, is staffed by Michigan State University College of Human Medicine physicians. The region’s only neurology intensive care services and comprehensive neurological care are staffed by CHM and COM physicians. If you have a stroke or other neurological emergency in the Lansing area, you will get your care from MSU physicians. If you do not have a primary care physician and are admitted to Sparrow, odds are you will be cared for by a CHM physician. If your doctor or nurse trained at Sparrow, they were likely trained in a program run and/or staffed by an MSU faculty member.

Not everything that happens with a hospital is about clinical care. In most of our communities, hospitals have become major employers and economic engines. We must acknowledge the importance of thriving hospitals in our community where our students learn, our faculty practice, and our people receive essential health care services. While we have seen this part of a hospital’s community commitment wither when outside institutions become major players in a community hospital, we are dedicated to the best possible outcomes for the people of the Lansing area.

In the short term, we already have secure clinical spots for our students and teaching opportunities for our faculty. The college has long term contracts with Sparrow for faculty educational time in the residencies and for the approximately 200 medical students who do some part of their clinical training at Sparrow each year.

Sparrow leadership called me after the announcement to reassure us that Sparrow wants to continue all the research, clinical, and educational partnerships they have with the college, our faculty, and our students. Regardless of hospital ownership, our students, residents, and faculty will continue as stalwart, essential members of the Lansing community, improving care, ensuring local access, and saving lives. This will be the subject of our Friday Town Hall at noon on December 16. I hope for the best….

In other news, the college’s proposed strategic plan is out for faculty approval vote. If you are a faculty member with college voting rights, please check your email for the link to the vote. If something seems amiss, please email Allison Tilma with questions or concerns. The last day to vote is December 13.

In the last couple of weeks, I have had students reach out to me regarding the demonstrations in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of governmental “morality police.” The international press have followed the protests, blindings, and general strike in Iran in the weeks since her death. I seek ways to offer more than the humblest solidarity with these remarkably courageous people pursuing basic rights for women. A Persian friend pointed me to the Iranian American Women’s Foundation as one of her sources of support and engagement. Most importantly, I hope you will support those around us with family, friends, and colleagues in Iran.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP


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