The Wayne State University School of Medicine – a two-time finalist of the AAMC Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service – was founded as the Detroit Medical College in 1868 by five physicians, appalled by the crude medical treatment they witnessed on Civil War battlefields and dedicated to advancing health education and care. Since then, this commitment to health and service has been the driving force of the School of Medicine, where students and faculty routinely collaborate with acclaimed health care systems and community partners to find innovative ways to reduce health disparities and improve — and save — residents’ lives.
Two of many examples include Street Medicine Detroit, a student organization that provides free health care services to the city’s homeless population, and the First Aid First video series, a collaboration between students and Detroit Medical Center (DMC) emergency medicine physicians to help broader populations learn about in-home health safety and response solutions that could save lives.
5 ways we impact Detroit and beyond
- Our curriculum
- Service to Detroit’s residents is woven into every facet of Wayne State University’s medical education. Its award-winning community engagement and service learning-focused curriculum is unparalleled in the United States in size, opportunity and scope. More than 500 students annually serve at more than 70 clinical sites and nearly 100 community-based mentoring and outreach locations, and participate in a growing number of public health policy and advocacy opportunities.
- Our research
- Wayne State’s location provides unparalleled access to diverse populations and exposure to Detroit’s unique health challenges, along with unmatched collaborative opportunities with leading health care systems, organizations and experts. Students and faculty work on interdisciplinary teams in myriad settings — including the new Integrative Biosciences Center, a $90 million facility dedicated to eliminating health disparities in Detroit — to investigate and develop techniques, technologies and processes that better serve residents. In 2016 alone, School of Medicine clinical research awards totaled more than $176 million.
- Our partnerships
- Community partnerships guide, support and strengthen Wayne State University and Detroit. The Center for Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation — a hub of campuswide clinical research — works with community advisory boards to determine the direction of clinical research, ensuring that studies and discoveries are applicable and available to community members. School of Medicine students in nearly 70 student organizations worked in mentoring and outreach programs with nearly 100 community partners in 2016-17.
- Our pipeline and continuing education programs
- Wayne State University and its School of Medicine continue to build a diverse health care workforce with a passion for community engagement through K-12, medical education and continuing medical education pipeline programs. Programs and initiatives such as Reach Out to Youth, C2 Pipeline and the Michigan Area Health Education Center open doors for diverse populations, directly impact communities and improve access to health care.
- Uncompensated care
- Our faculty physicians and practice groups are committed to delivering compassionate care to the underserved, underinsured and uninsured in our communities.
Select impact statistics:
- Two-time finalist of the AAMC Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service.
- More than 500 students annually serve at more than 70 clinical and 100 outreach locations through an award-winning curriculum unparalleled in the United States in size, opportunity and scope.
- More than 1,100 total patient encounters with 790 patients by Street Medicine Detroit since 2012.
- Approximately 100 WayneSOM LEAD student advocates annually dedicated to educating Michigan lawmakers about health care issues directly impacting vulnerable communities.
- Annual visits by more than 1,000 students from seven disciplines to more than 450 adults age 65 and older through the Interprofessional Team Home Visit Program, an award-winning, interdisciplinary approach to patient care.
- More than 220 students and WSU family medicine physicians volunteered more than 200 hours, serving 42 patients for a total of 130 visits through the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic — Michigan’s first student-led free clinic — in 2016.
- Evaluations of nearly 225 homeless individuals — 93.1 percent of whom are African-American — by 167 medical students via the Community Homeless Interprofessional Program Clinic in the last two years.
- More than 250 faculty and medical student volunteers addressed Detroit’s diabetes epidemic in 2016 at the Diabetes Education and Wellness Clinic, an interdisciplinary student-run clinic at the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic.
- More than 34,000 hours of community service by Year 1 and 2 students in 2016.
Research, centers and institutes
- Carnegie Foundation’s best in research and community engagement.
- National leader in health equity and disparities research, with more than $200 million invested by Wayne State University to address health inequalities in Detroit.
- The School of Medicine received more than $176.5 million in research awards in 2016.
- More than 20,000 at-risk mothers assisted through the School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health’s Perinatology Research Branch.
- Gaining better understanding of health disparities among more than 5,560 survivors of lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers through the nation’s largest study of African American cancer survivors.
- Addressing cancer-related needs in predominantly African American communities through faculty innovation such as Hayley Thompson’s Detroit HealthLink for Equity in Cancer Care.
- A partner with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in Michigan’s University Research Corridor, which:
- Conducts more than 3 million patient care visits each year, from annual checkups to ER visits and specialized care
- Generates 95 percent of all life, medical and health sciences R&D in Michigan
- Educates 42 percent of the state’s practicing physicians
- Among others, interdisciplinary research and outreach efforts via:
- The National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 47 nationwide
- The Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio), a research facility dedicated to studying and eliminating health disparities in Detroit.
- The Ligon Research Center of Vision, one of few centers in the world exploring restoration of vision.
- The Center for Urban Studies and its Health Research and Evaluation Program, which engages in interdisciplinary, community-based research benefitting physical and mental health of Detroit’s neighborhoods.
- The Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, working to improve the development, health and wellbeing across the lifespan through research and outreach.
- The Institute of Gerontology, dedicated to social and behavioral research and aging issues.
- The Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership, created by WSU to examine the link between changes in Flint’s water system and public health.
- The DVERSE group, a multidisciplinary team of investigators studying how environmental stressors impact public health in urban areas.
- The Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors, which consists of scientists, clinicians and community leaders committed to building healthy living and working environments.
Partnerships and community care
- Partnering with more than 40 community partners through Voices of Detroit Initiative — created in 1998 with a $5 million Kellogg Foundation grant — to provide Detroit’s vulnerable population with access to affordable, effective health care through an organized, sustainable delivery system.
- Helping the largest population of Arab Americans outside the Middle East overcome health care assistance and service barriers via collaboration with the Arab Community Center for Education and Social Services Health Council in Dearborn, Mich.
- Providing legal assistance and consultation to 539 southeast Michigan and Detroit community members for more than 660 legal matters via the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic.
- Nearly 70 student organizations worked with nearly 100 community partners in 2016-17 in mentoring and outreach programs.
- Home to Michigan’s largest African-American MS clinic in the country, the largest and most comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis center in Michigan.
- Home to the Horizons Project, which provides services to HIV-positive and at-risk youth ages 13 to 24.
- Listening to community needs and improving health care in Detroit and beyond through the Center for Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation, a campus-wide effort located at IBio, and home to the Center for Community Engagement and Health.
- Longstanding partnerships with nationally renowned medical institutions — many of which are only steps from campus — including the hospitals of the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System.
Pipeline and continuing education programs
- Bringing more than 350 7- to 11-year-old urban students and their parents to WSU annually through Reach Out to Youth to learn about basic health care and nutrition, spark interest in science and medicine, boost self-esteem and explore careers in health care through interactive activities.
- Michigan Area Health Education Center program host, which promotes the health and wellbeing of people in underserved rural and urban areas by improving their access to quality care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community and educational partnerships.
- C² Pipeline partner, a 21st Century Community Learning Center-funded program through the Michigan Department of Education with the goal of college and career readiness, serving more than 6,500 at-risk high school students since its inception five years ago.
- Developing a pipeline of high-quality students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds interested in studying health disparities through Wayne Med-Direct, a program that guarantees admission to WSU’s School of Medicine, four years of undergraduate tuition, four years of undergraduate room and board in university housing, and four years of medical school tuition.
- Home to the Post Baccalaureate Program — the first program of its kind in the U.S. — established in 1969 for high-risk, disadvantaged students originally rejected by the school. More than $30 million has been invested into the program, which has resulted in more than 1,900 applicants and 463 program graduates. Many practice medicine in Medically Underserved Areas and Populations.
- 55 percent of the School of Medicine’s Class of 2017 will stay in Michigan for residencies.
- 21,950 alumni changing the world through care and innovation in 50 states and 30 countries.
- Graduates rank fourth in nation – Vitals Patients’ Choice Awards.
Wayne State University School of Medicine students and faculty members recently have been recipients of a number of awards.
|Awardee||Class of||Award title|
|Community Homeless Interprofessional Program||2018||
Arthur L. Johnson Award
|Covenant Tutoring||2019||Arthur L. Johnson Award|
|Nathan Nartker||2018||American College of Physicians (ACP) Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, 2nd place medical student winner|
|Nathan Nartker||2018||Annual WSU Medical Student Symposium, Clinical Science and Prospective Clinical Studies Poster Presentation Honorable Mention|
|Nathan Nartker||2018||American College of Physicians (ACP) National Internal Medicine Meeting 2017, Young Achiever Honor|
|Molly Belisle||2019||Michigan Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities fellowship program|
|Jordan Holloway||2020||CGEA 2017 Student Travel Award|
|Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D.||Marquette University Leadership Award for Service|
Additionally, the Detroit Public Health Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic hosted by the Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne State University Physician Group recently won the Outstanding Achievement in HIV Prevention Award at the 2017 Michigan HIV and STD conference.