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Feb. 14, 2018

MSU President Engler targets safety, quality and transparency with new health structure

In keeping with his promise to make health care at Michigan State University a national model for quality and safety, Interim President John Engler today announced a new structure for the university’s health colleges, clinical practice and student wellness programs, including two leadership appointments.

“One of the great challenges we face today in America is the cost of health care, which is bound closely to issues of access and quality,” Engler said. “We want to better coordinate and integrate the delivery of care as well as the utilization of health resources. We want to provide a uniform standard of excellence, to assure safe and quality care in a system with no wrong door for access.”

Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., dean of the College of Human Medicine, is expected to be appointed to the newly created position of associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs. Anthony M. Avellino, chief executive officer of OSF Healthcare Illinois Neurological Institute, will assume the roles of assistant provost for student health, wellness and safety and MSU HealthTeam chief medical officer.

Beauchamp has held leadership positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington (UW), where he was president of the UW clinical practice of 1,600 physicians. As associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs, he will work to increase safety and quality practices across all of MSU’s health care services, including student health clinics, physical therapy and trainers for student-athletes, and all clinical activities for the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Osteopathic Medicine, as well as the MSU HealthTeam.

He will maintain his appointment as dean of the College of Medicine, as the College of Human Medicine is expected to be renamed at Friday’s MSU Board of Trustees meeting. The name change coincides with the announced realignments to better reflect generally used medical school terminology.

“This effort will allow MSU to be the model for an accountable health culture,” said Beauchamp. “As a physician whose core value is caring, I feel it’s my obligation to the courageous survivors of sexual abuse to draw upon my experience in university clinical practice management to ensure safe quality care for every patient and every student, every time. To that end, I will be tireless in my efforts to restore the trust and confidence of all the communities we serve.”

“This is an opportunity for MSU, perhaps the only university with these three types of colleges, to demonstrate what can be done when we work on a variety of health care practice issues, research and evidence-based practice to improve the health outcomes of the public,” added College of Nursing Dean Randolph F.R. Rasch.

“We make a pledge to our faculties and the citizens of Michigan and beyond to work together in this shared vision, and harness our great strengths in delivery of cutting-edge health care to prevent and treat illness in a manner that has never before been attempted—but can be, given the foundations currently present at our university,” College of Osteopathic Medicine Interim Dean Andrea Amalfitano said.

Avellino, a highly regarded pediatric neurosurgeon, built his career caring for young people and their families, including a deliberate focus on creating support and systems that emphasize health and wellness. As MSU HealthTeam chief medical officer, Avellino will assist with strategic development of initiatives and programs and assure compliance while ensuring best practices and exemplary care. In addition, he will oversee core sports medicine and health care providers and will guide the ongoing reorganization of student-health and wellness for all MSU students in his role as assistant provost for student wellness, health and safety.

“We are committed to creating systems that provide the highest quality health care in all aspects of our clinical practices,” said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. “Today’s announcement is an indication of that commitment.”

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