President Wilson announced the termination of Wayne State’s partnership with the Detroit Medical Center after receiving notice from Tenet Healthcare Corp. management that they have decided to end negotiations and the decades-long relationship.
“We are disappointed with this outcome, but we have offered to work with Tenet to ensure a smooth transition,” Wilson said in the announcement sent to all WSU employees. “Unwinding a partnership that has endured for decades is a complex undertaking and may take several years of hard work.”
Wilson said the education of medical students and residents will not be affected and existing contracts ensure that current residencies are taught to completion and graduation and current undergraduate medical students will complete the hospital portion of their education without interruption.
“Our highest priorities in this transition are patients, students and physicians,” Wilson said. “We will do all we can to ensure patient care is uninterrupted, and we will provide all reasonable assistance toward a safe and smooth transition to alternative providers as that is Tenet’s desire and intent.”
WSU wished to pursue other partnerships with health care organizations to create a, “cutting-edge academic health sciences center,” while also allowing Tenet to meet its financial goals.
“The education of physicians is our primary mission; we will never compromise that mission.”
This disbanding comes after months of heightened tensions between both entities, despite Wilson saying negotiations toward a mutually beneficial and long-term contract was making, “steady progress.”
In a memo sent by DMC’s CEO Anthony Tedeschi on April 20, WSU’s “consistent disparagement of DMC publicly” and the lack of external funding for research for WSU’s University Physician’s Group were cited as the challenges in the relationship.
“In light of these developments, and in our effort to deliver on our commitment to patients, DMC will now actively pursue critical service alternatives to meet the greater Detroit community’s need for healthcare,” Tedeschi said in the memo.
“DMC will do what is necessary to continue to provide excellent care for Detroit’s children and adults and will begin immediately looking for a new long-term academic partner for DMC,” according to a statement released by DMC.
This memo came in response to Dean Jack Sobel’s message urging the DMC to speed up the finalization of negotiations by May 15, or clinical services provided by WSU bodies will terminate.
“This is complicated, but the bottom line in this situation is that we are guided by our mission, our integrity and our core values,” Wilson said. “I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can tell you that I am confident in our leadership, our doctors, our researchers and our educators.”
Dean Sobel did not immediately respond to TSE news requests.