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Published on July 16, 2013

Physicians Respond Positively to University of Michigan Health System Partnership

Charles Sanislow, M.D.The affiliation of MidMichigan Health and the University of Michigan Health System, announced June 25, brought positive responses from four MidMichigan physicians who graduated from the university’s medical school or completed medical internships or residencies there.

“I am absolutely delighted the affiliation is occurring,” said General and Vascular Surgeon Charles Sanislow, M.D., who was Midland’s first vascular surgeon in the 1960s and is now the medical director for the vascular lab at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland. Dr. Sanislow completed internships, a residency and a fellowship at The University of Michigan. “This is the biggest development, without question, and the best thing that has happened for MidMichigan Health and the community in the time I have been here.”

Orthopaedic Surgeon Thomas Haverbush, M.D., who has remained quite close to his alma mater, said he was “pleased beyond speech” when the affiliation was confirmed. “I have great feelings of enthusiasm and hope. Most of us probably never thought we would be able to have an affiliation like this,” he said.

“The school has a great reputation in our state, throughout the Midwest and beyond,” Dr. Haverbush said. “I’m eager for my patients to know the quality of the University of Michigan Health System and what it means to our area.” Dr. Haverbush also said he felt the university would only have chosen to affiliate with MidMichigan Health based on the health system’s level of quality.

General Surgeon James Shepich, M.D., and Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist David Roden, M.D., both also welcomed the affiliation. All the doctors recognized its potential for benefitting patients, physicians and MidMichigan Health.

“The University of Michigan is already a referral center for me, and it is where patients ask to be referred,” Dr. Roden said. “Anything that facilitates referrals, and enables more of that care to be delivered locally, will make it easier to help patients who need the type of care offered at the level of a major teaching institution.”

Dr. Shepich said that as a quaternary care center, the university offers highly specialized expertise, advanced equipment and uncommon procedures. “Their opportunities and innovations are way ahead of the rest of the world,” he said. “We anticipate the partnership will provide a pathway to specialists who can provide opinions and evaluations for our patients.”

He was particularly excited about the potential for continuing growth and development for physicians affiliated with MidMichigan Health. “I expect the partnership to bring academics closer to home and provide more chances for doctors to participate in a high-level learning environment, including optimizing their technical capabilities. At the same time, I think we have an outstanding medical faculty here at MidMichigan, and that the University of Michigan people will recognize that as they get to know us.”

Other potential benefits of the affiliation mentioned by the physicians included better patient access to medical specialties not available in this area, such as pediatric cardiology; increasing MidMichigan’s already active clinical research efforts; opportunities to partner in reducing business costs; and having a partner with expertise and skills in dealing with governmental organizations in light of oversight, performance and various ongoing and new mandates.

“I see no disadvantages,” said Dr. Sanislow. “A whole world of opportunity is opening up to MidMichigan Health and the communities we serve.”