TOLEDO, Ohio, May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In just 10 years, this nation could have a shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians. This is according to a recent report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Major contributing factors include a growing and aging population, plus one-third of practicing physicians with plans to retire in the next decade. These shortages are expected to be particularly challenging for communities the size of Toledo competing with larger metropolitan areas to attract future doctors and caregivers.
One of Ohio's largest health systems, ProMedica, is pursuing a significant, long-term plan to make its region a preferred destination for medical education and training, and as a place to live and practice.
Leaders from ProMedica and The University of Toledo (UT) signed a letter of intent to enter into a 50-year Academic Affiliation Agreement. If approved, the health system would invest $50 million a year to support the academic medical center, plus an additional $250 million to create a new college of medicine.
The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) will not become affiliated with ProMedica and will continue to be independently owned and operated by UT.
"ProMedica Toledo Hospital and Toledo Children's Hospital have the clinical excellence and capacity that is comparable with any academic medical center in the country," said Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and chief executive officer. "The University of Toledo College of Medicine has the academic and research expertise. Collectively, we can establish an academic medical center that will be extremely competitive nationally in attracting and retaining top level talent."
"This is a transformational proposal for UT medical and health science students, faculty at UT, physicians at ProMedica, and the long-term health of the community," said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. "This affiliation will provide our learners additional clinical learning experiences that are more varied and more local. The result will be more caregivers and more care options for northwest Ohio."
The focus of the agreement is on academics and research, and will support the following UT programs: College of Medicine and Life Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, and College of Health Sciences. Through this partnership, the vast majority of medical students, residents, fellows, and other health profession learners would be placed at ProMedica Toledo Hospital and Toledo Children's Hospital.
The bulk of ProMedica's clinical research and training opportunities are available on the campus of Toledo Hospital. It is the site of Jobst Vascular Institute, a nationally-renowned program for vascular diagnosis, treatment and research that was established in 1986. Currently Jobst offers numerous educational opportunities, including a 24-month vascular surgery fellowship. Through the academic affiliation with UT, ProMedica will seek to significantly expand educational and research opportunities, in particular biomedical research.
"There is a pent up demand for research and innovation in this community. Through this academic affiliation, we will have a tremendous opportunity to focus on basic and translational research that will create jobs in this community," says Lee Hammerling, ProMedica chief medical officer. "Creating a robust academic center helps the entire community. A more dynamic academic medical center will help serve as a driver of more community revitalization, economic and business development."
"Our learners are the overarching issue and we have an obligation to them and to this community to ensure that in the decades to come, Toledo's only medical school is adequately positioned to meet this region's needs," said David Morlock, CEO of UTMC.
Within the next 60-90 days, ProMedica and UT will finalize the agreement and implement a multi-year transition plan. UT faculty and ProMedica clinical leadership will play a critical role in developing the plan.
For more information about ProMedica, visit www.promedica.org.
The University of Toledo, established in 1872, is a diverse, student-centered public metropolitan research university. The University is home to more than 20,000 students across 16 colleges and six Ohio campuses offering more than 150 doctoral, professional, graduate and undergraduate programs. UT is just one of 20 public U.S. universities that offer programs in the following seven professional fields: business, education, engineering, law, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Nearly 350 student athletes comprise 15 Division 1 Rocket athletic teams. The University has earned national and international acclaim for its expertise in solar and advanced renewable energy, environmental sciences, astronomical research, translational research and biomarkers. For more information visit utoledo.edu.
ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The 13-hospital system has more than 17,000 employees, 2,300 physicians with privileges, and more than 800 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Additionally its offers a health plan, Paramount, which serves 320,000 members including more than 225,000 members in the statewide Medicaid plan. Driven by its Mission to improve your health and well-being, ProMedica offers a full range of diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in areas such as emergency medicine and trauma, heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women's and children's services. The health system has been nationally recognized for its advocacy programs and efforts to raise awareness about hunger as a health issue. For more information, please visit www.promedica.org.
The University of Toledo
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