WSU and Premier Health reach new collaborative milestone


FAIRBORN — Wright State University and Premier Health have reached a new milestone in their affiliation agreement that began in 2018.

On Dec. 15, the boards of Wright State University and Premier Health signed an agreement that furthers their affiliation, moving the collaboration from just between the Boonshoft School of Medicine to the entire university. Wright State University President Sue Edwards and Premier Health CEO Michael Riordan announced the milestone with excitement, pointing to the many new opportunities for both organizations and the community as a whole.

The new agreement has five prominent changes for the school and health center. First, there will be a new role of joint dean of the Boonshoft School of Medicine and chief academic officer for Premier Health. This role will be recruited by both organizations to bridge the gap between them.

“We already have a great partnership,” said Edwards. “I’m extremely excited.”

Second, Miami Valley Hospital will be formally recognized as an academic medical center and integrate education with research and clinical care.

“We cannot do this alone, nor do we want to do this alone,” said Riordan, who added that the two organizations have a great working relationship and are optimistic about the next step of integration.

Third, the two organizations will work to improve patients care in terms of both quality and affordability, all while keeping the institution and experts local to the area.

Edwards noted that by improving the local health infrastructure, costs can be reduced for Greene County residents simply because they won’t have to travel for high-quality care. Riordan added that as an academic medical center, Premier Health will have the resources to put additional funding into medicaid services for the working class.

“We’re a blue collar organization,” said Riordan. “And I say that with great pride.”

Fourth, the organizations will expand the clinical training programs at Miami Valley Hospital and pursue strategies to establish these programs at Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center.

Edwards said this will not only improve the quality of care, but will also establish a clear path to internships and post-graduation jobs for students at Wright State University. According to Edwards, the path will also help students that aren’t pursuing degrees in the medical field specifically, and this agreement also looks into sub-specialties.

“It’s not a narrow focus just on health care,” she said. “For the students, it expands the opportunities they have.”

Riordan added that keeping these practices local will help with the shortage of Physicians in the area, and even if a student decides to pursue work in another area or hospital, the experience gained at Premier Health can give students a unique edge in the job market.

Finally, the organizations will enhance and grow clinical faculty while leveraging existing physician practice organizations to benefit clinical, research and academic outcomes. Both Riordan and Edwards were clear that enhancing academic excellence and healthcare in the local area is something both organizations are aligned on.

The partnership has been in the works since 2018, according to Edwards, and now moves beyond the initial agreement in 2021 which included only the Boonshoft School of Medicine and Wright State’s nursing and health science programs.

“It’s an affirmation, it’s a momentum-builder,” said Riordan. “It’s the right strategy for us.”

Both Riordan and Edwards were optimistic at the meeting, and affirmed that they have a collaborative vision to lead both organizations into a brighter future for students, healthcare professionals, and community members in southwest Ohio.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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