Med-Peds milestone sparks philanthropic investment for alumnus turned program director

September 06, 2017

Particular milestones inspire subsequent action.

The 50th anniversary of the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program at the Wayne State University School of Medicine prompted Eric Ayers, M.D. '89, F.A.A.P., F.A.C.P., Med-Peds program director, to philanthropically support the program’s mission. It is the hope of Dr. Ayers that such support will allow Med-Peds residents to continue to receive a robust medical training, and that the funds will also enhance a leading-edge educational curriculum in the field of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

“It is important to honor marks of achievement,” Dr. Ayers, assistant professor of Internal Medicine, said in reference to his recent gift to establish an expenditure account for the Med-Peds residency program, “and to celebrate this fiftieth year of the Combined Med-Peds Residency. We have done a lot of great work to train new residents in transitional care and ensure that patients who are in this specialized group receive the care they deserve.”

Unique in its nature, the Med-Peds program reaches a specific area of young adults with illnesses or specialized care needs who are transitioning into adult life. “We (Med-Ped physicians) are like the harbormasters in the patient’s life,” said Dr. Ayers, a Class of 1989 graduate of the School of Medicine. “Our role is to help these unique patients navigate their transition from youth to adulthood in dealing with their congenital disease. We are not here to replace subspecialist care providers. Rather, we are like the lighthouse that the patients can look to in the midst of their various health care questions.”

With the changing landscape of traditional medicine, Dr. Ayers sees Med-Peds playing a pivotal role in the medical educational curriculum as well as community patient care.

“It is essential that we continue to uphold the mission and values of the school and the program,” he said. “We are grounded in transitional care, we are patient advocates and we are instrumental in the landscape of new health initiatives such as specialized LGBTQ community patient care.”

Because the Med-Peds program plays such a vital role in medical education, Dr. Ayers noted the value of philanthropic support. “We want to make sure our voices are heard,” he said, “and make the community — both the local and global community — aware of the critical role the Med-Peds program plays in the lives of those young adults facing ongoing health care complexities.”

The community focus of the Med-Peds program continues the traditions of the WSU School of Medicine mission. It is for this reason — the opportunity to have such an impact in the greater Detroit community as well as the lives of the Wayne State University School of Medicine physician in training — that Dr. Ayers has been with the university for so long. As an alumnus of the school and an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics resident alumnus, Dr. Ayers continues to see the importance of the university’s role in the medical field.

“Wayne State University offers the opportunity for students and residents to participate in a diverse environment,” he said. “Such an environment of inclusivity and diversity inspires both the residents and their patients. To see such growth is why I stay at Wayne State.”

His passion for working with the Wayne State University School of Medicine Med-Peds program comes from the inspirational individuals Dr. Ayers interacts with daily. “When I look up at the stars at night,” he added, “I know these stars represent the current and past residents that have trained here, and I am assured that they are making a positive impact on the community they serve locally and abroad.”

Dr. Ayers hopes that others will recognize the importance of the program and join him in supporting the Department of Internal Medicine Med-Peds program by contributing to the fund.

To make a gift to the fund, contact Patty Paquin at or 313-577-0026.

To learn more about the Med-Peds program, visit