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Feb. 10, 2023

MSU board gives green light to plan Henry Ford + MSU Health Sciences Detroit building

Planning for the new, state-of-the-art research facility in downtown Detroit, part of the Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences’ 30-year partnership, was authorized today by the MSU Board of Trustees.

The facility is part of a recently announced $2.5 billion expansion in Detroit by partners Henry Ford Health, Detroit Pistons and MSU. The new research facility will be located along Third Street, south of the new hospital and across from the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center.

“Together, our organizations have the collective knowledge, skills and drive to usher in a new era of health education and research excellence,” said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “By joining forces and building on our rich academic and medical heritages, we are truly poised to transform the way in which people receive and experience health care.”

Norman J. Beauchamp, M.D., executive vice president for MSU Health Sciences, said when the partnership was formed, its main goal was to discover and advance a new standard of health.

“This new facility will allow us to expand our research in cancer and health disparities, fueling innovation and discovery through traditional and new approaches like machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as academically and clinically integrated teams of doctors, nurses, scientists, academics and public health practitioners,” he said. “Ultimately, this facility will enable faculty and trainees, passionate about discovery from across the 17 colleges at MSU, to contribute to world-class care. This will also help create an innovation district that brings together industry, community and academia furthering economic uplift and opportunity.”

MSU Board of Trustees Chair Rema Vassar, Ph.D., said Friday’s approval allows administrators to move forward developing specific plans for the building, expected to break ground in 2024.

“We expect this new facility to be the epicenter of research related to health inequity and bring to bear new knowledge to help increase access to treatment and care for vulnerable populations. This work is consistent with the values of our university, and we’re proud of the opportunities it will create to increase our reach and impact in Detroit.” 

The building was part of the original partnership agreement between Henry Ford and MSU. Launched in 2021, Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences is working together across multiple areas, including cancer research and focusing on combating health disparities. The partnership has started integrating Henry Ford Health physicians as MSU faculty members, with more than 109 researchers, 85 clinicians and 10 educators receiving faculty appointments.

Last summer, the partnership announced its funding of five cancer research grants of up to $100,000 each. These five grants follow an initial wave of funding from the partnership, in which 18 pilot grants of up to $25,000 each were funded in May.

As of October 2022, the number of MSU medical students has expanded across all Henry Ford hospital sites, with nearly 20 third-year students currently at the new College of Human Medicine Detroit campus at Henry Ford Hospital.

MSU has been working with partners in Detroit for decades, supporting the city’s economic development, advancing the arts and improving health. MSU spends more than $20 million with Detroit businesses and enrolls more than 900 Detroit students every year.

By: Nardy Baeza Bickel

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