Beaumont, Oakland University name dean of new medical school

7/31/2008

Oakland University's Board of Trustees today approved the appointment of Robert Folberg, M.D., as the founding dean of the allopathic medical school Oakland will open with Beaumont Hospitals. Oakland and Beaumont also announced the official name of the school - Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine - and that philanthropic support is approaching $25 million. They describe their vision for the school as "a partnership to lead innovation in patient-centered medical education and research."

Media Note: pictured above (from left to right)- Beaumont Hospitals President and CEO Kenneth J. Matzick; newly-appointed dean Robert Folberg, M.D.; and Oakland University President Gary D. Russi.

"This is a watershed moment in Oakland University's history," said Oakland President Gary D. Russi. "Today, with our nationally recognized partner, Beaumont Hospitals, we have taken several momentous steps toward creating exciting opportunities in top-quality medical education for the next generation of doctors, and, at the same time, bringing to the region a much-needed economic and job-creation boost, and exciting new opportunities for a top-quality medical education for the next generation of doctors."

Beaumont Hospitals President and CEO Kenneth J. Matzick said, "This new medical school will help solve the predicted shortage of physicians in Michigan and attract renowned educators and researchers to the region."

Dr. Robert Folberg has served as chairman of the department of pathology at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago since 2000. He is an esteemed professor of ophthalmology and pathology, with a national and international reputation in the field of ophthalmic pathology, hospital administration, education and research. In addition to his role as dean of the OUWBSM, Dr. Folberg will also serve as professor of biomedical sciences, pathology and ophthalmology, with tenure, and as Beaumont Hospitals' chief academic officer. (View Dr. Folberg's biography.)  

"I'm tremendously honored to be chosen as the founding dean of a medical school that has the force of two outstanding institutions behind it," Folberg said. "Oakland University and Beaumont Hospitals are recognized leaders in higher education and medicine, and the combination of these two organizations will create a medical school that will blaze new and exciting trails in medical education in Michigan and throughout the country. To be named the founding dean of the new medical school is humbling indeed."

Oakland University Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Virinder Moudgil said, "The new medical school will promote applied research ‘from the bench to the bedside,' assuring that scientific discoveries and new technologies are able to directly benefit patients in the most rapid timeframe possible. It's clear that Dr. Folberg shares our vision for the medical school and will help us reach new heights in medical training, innovation and instruction."

Instruction and research in the basic sciences will be provided on Oakland University's campus in Rochester, with clinical instruction and advanced research provided at Beaumont. The school will train physicians to practice 21st century medicine with an emphasis on lifelong learning, technology, research, preventive and pre-symptom medicine, treatment and management of chronic disease, and teamwork. (See medical school FAQs.)

Beaumont Hospitals will be the exclusive clinical partner. An Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine advisory committee composed of Beaumont and OU executives will provide guidance on the direction of the school.

"Beaumont has the largest, non-university affiliated, post-graduate teaching program in the country," said Ananias Diokno, M.D., Beaumont executive vice president and chief medical officer. "This medical school affiliation will bolster our already strong programs for medical education and research."

Building on a solid foundation of the nearly $25 million in gifts announced today, revenue for the new medical school will come from tuition and fees, commercialization of intellectual property, partner contributions (e.g., clinical training, scholarships), extramural research and philanthropy. Administrators and faculty will be hired to support the new school consistent with accreditation standards set by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, which will also be reviewing the medical school's application materials and facilitating a site visit.

The new medical school will create hundreds of new jobs and is expected to generate a regional economic impact of up to $1 billion annually, once the school is fully operational. As it grows, the school will help combat the physician shortage predicted for Michigan and graduates will fill residencies at local hospitals, contributing to the care of Michigan residents. The school will also attract top-level medical, business and academic leaders, helping to keep our "best and brightest" from leaving the state to pursue educational opportunities elsewhere.

For a medical school timeline, Dr. Folberg's complete curriculum vitae, and additional information on the medical school, please visit www.oakland.edu/medicine.