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Henry Ford CEO suspends Wayne State affiliation talks

Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University, both based in Detroit, are no longer in affiliation talks, according to Crain's Detroit Business.

Wayne State approved a letter of intent to make Henry Ford its primary academic partner. Its students now train at Henry Ford and Detroit Medical Center. 

But Henry Ford CEO Wright Lassiter III on March 27 announced the system is suspending affiliation talks after weeks of public feuding between Wayne State's president and its board of governors, according to Crain's.

"We deeply regret having to take this course of action. We negotiated in good faith and firmly believe we had made considerable progress toward agreements which would have had a transformational impact on the health of our communities, as well as the economic success and national recognition for our region," Mr. Lassiter said in a statement to Becker's.

"The ongoing volatility between the university's administration and its board of governors has made constructive negotiations impossible. Should this dynamic change, we are willing to revisit the discussions. Meantime, we will continue to honor our existing relationship with Wayne State University," he added.

Affiliation talks stalled last week amid questions from Wayne State's board of governors about payments the university made to executives and consultants who worked on the deal. The payments created tension between Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson, MD, and the university's board, with several board members speaking out against Dr. Wilson's handling of the affiliation.

Dr. Wilson defended the spending and notified Wayne State employees and faculty this month that he would not resign.

Before this week's announcement of the suspension of talks, Wayne State board members told Crain's both sides would restart discussions and that a meeting was scheduled in early April.

Access the full Crain's article here


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