WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine and Miami Valley Hospital announce major new initiative

Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Miami Valley Hospital announced today the formation of the Wright State University & Premier Health Partners Neuroscience Institute to speed the transfer of research discoveries from bench to bedside, improving the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders such as stroke. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents Eric Fingerhut joined Wright State University and Miami Valley Hospital officials in making the announcement.

This major public-private initiative partners the Dayton region's strongest biomedical research institution with the clinical resources of the region's leading hospital system to create the WSU & PHP Neuroscience Institute. Miami Valley Hospital has made a major investment of $4.35 million over five years to create a new Department of Neurology within the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine. The investment includes long-term support for clinical neurologists who will form the nucleus for collaboration with the university-based neuroscientists in critical research in stroke and movement disorders. A national search is underway for the founding chair of the new department.

"By leveraging our considerable NIH-funded research strengths along with Premier's extensive clinical resources, we will make new breakthroughs in a broad range of neurologic disorders," said David R. Hopkins, president of Wright State University. "The university and hospital system are committed to investing significant fiscal resources to recruit new physician-scientists to join our talented faculty in the institute, with the goal of providing improved neurological care for our community as well as longer-term clinical trials and continuing research."

"Premier Health Partners and Miami Valley Hospital have enjoyed a strong relationship for many years with Wright State and the school of medicine. Many medical students, residents and nurses received their clinical training at our hospital," said Mary Boosalis, president and chief executive officer of Miami Valley. "The partnership we are announcing today helps us to expand our capacity for innovation and will carry our community into a new age of discovery and leadership in the areas of science and medicine.This announcement will place us at the forefront of leading scientific research and positions both Miami Valley and the Boonshoft School of Medicine as being national leaders in the study of neurological science."

Neurological disorders afflict tens of millions of Americans and directly or indirectly affect all of us. These disorders exact a terrible toll on our neighbors, our families and our community. They include common disorders such as stroke; neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease); multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders and traumatic injury; and nervous system complications caused by diabetes, chemotherapy or peripheral nerve injury. Many of these common disorders impact the patient's ability to control movement, ranging from the ability to walk to the control of fine hand movements.

The Boonshoft School of Medicine has a talented cadre of NIH-funded neuroscientists, along with excellent core resources and equipment for cutting-edge laboratory research, including microscopic imaging, genomics, proteomics and electrophysiology. A primary focus of their research is nervous system disorders that affect movement. The PHP system has a large and diverse patient base that provides excellent opportunity for high-quality research and clinical trials.

The institute will be the critical centerpiece for conducting neuroscience research, and will promote ways to move the results of that research directly from the laboratory to the bedside, providing outstanding neurological clinical care to the community and creating a clinical and research enterprise that will be pivotal for the region's economic recovery. Joint research activities and related investments will have direct economic impact on the community, amounting to tens of millions of dollars over the next five years. The emergence of a strong neuroscience institute through this collaboration will be a watershed accomplishment for the Dayton region.

"Attracting sufficient numbers of clinical neurologists to serve our community has been an ongoing challenge," said Molly Hall, M.D., chief academic officer and vice president of academic affairs for Premier Health Partners. "This new partnership will help attract additional neurology specialists, provide improved access to neurological care in the area and enhance the ability of WSU's researchers to attract federal grants and major clinical trials to this region."

Gov. Strickland designated the institute as one of Ohio's Centers of Excellence on Feb. 19. Wright State University now has four designated Centers of Excellence, including the Center of Excellence for Knowledge-Enabled and Human-Centered Computing, the National Center for Medical Readiness and the Center of Excellence in Human-Centered Innovation.

Wright State University serves nearly 18,790 students and offers more than 100 undergraduate and 50 Ph.D., M.D., graduate and professional degree programs. WSU's Boonshoft School of Medicine is a community-based medical college affiliated with seven major core hospitals in the Dayton area. The medical school educates the next generation of physicians by providing medical education for more than 400 medical students and nearly 400 residents in 13 specialty areas such as surgery, family medicine and emergency medicine. More than 1,200 of the medical school's 2,345 alumni remain in medical practice in Ohio.

Miami Valley Hospital is the largest health care provider in the Dayton area with 800 staffed beds. It has the Dayton region's only:

  • Level 1 trauma center
  • High-risk obstetrics and perinatal center in the same facility
  • Adult burn center
  • Organ transplant center
  • Air ambulance service
  • Comprehensive gynecological oncology program
  • Bone and marrow transplant unit

The hospital is served by 5,800 employees and 1,100 physicians in 50 primary and specialty medical practice areas. It holds Magnet Status in nursing and is a 2010 recipient of the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, placing it among the top five percent of the hospitals in the United States. Miami Valley was named to U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" list in 2008 for its orthopedic care.

Miami Valley Hospital is a member of Premier Health Partners, which also encompasses Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Atrium Medical Center in Warren County and Upper Valley Medical Center in Miami County.

For more information about the WSU & PHP Neuroscience Institute, visit the institute's web site.

Last edited on 05/29/2015.