UM-Dearborn and Oakwood Healthcare will share facility to enhance clinical and educational programs for kids, families and future teachers

July 17, 2008

DEARBORN / July 17, 2008---Oakwood Healthcare Inc. (OHI) and the University of Michigan-Dearborn are working together to transform a vacant Dearborn building into a state-of-the-art learning center housing acclaimed clinical and educational programs for kids, families and future teachers.

OHI purchased the former UAW/Ford Dearborn West Family Service and Learning Center, a 38,000-square-foot building located on Rotunda near Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn, last year.

The building will house Oakwood’s Program for Exceptional Families, which provides numerous services and oversees the care of children with multiple disabilities and their families.

UM-Dearborn’s Child Development Center also will move into the space later this year, allowing for larger enrollment and expanded program opportunities for children and their families, as well as for university students in teacher preparation programs. The U-M Regents approved the lease agreement at their July 17 meeting in Ann Arbor.

In addition, the facility will house Oakwood’s patient-care training facility, designed to enhance the skills and preparation of front-line caregivers throughout the Oakwood system.

Oakwood Healthcare and UM-Dearborn entered into a collaboration agreement in December 2006, which focused on building a comprehensive, long-term relationship to support each other’s missions for education, clinical care, research and service to the community.

“Together, Oakwood and UM-Dearborn will serve more families in the community and provide an asset unlike anything else in the region,” said Brian Connolly, president and CEO of OHI. “The beauty of this community investment will be seen in the synergy created by these programs all being housed under one roof, allowing for essential medical care for patients, social support for their families and a state-of-the-art clinical simulation learning center that will promote education and development,” said Connolly.

“This collaboration opens the door for the education of professionals to better serve children with disabilities, and specialized clinical and research services,” said Dr. Susan Youngs, director of the Program for Exceptional Families. “When the medical community for kids with disabilities comes together with the education community – it’s a win for the kids.”

UM-Dearborn’s Child Development Center (CDC) serves preschool and kindergarten children and their families in a program that also serves as a model teacher preparation and child-study facility for the University’s School of Education, according to Prof. Mary Trepanier-Street, director of the program.

“Working together with Oakwood and its Program for Exceptional Families will broaden the opportunities for our students and faculty members,” she said. “The new facility is not just a better space for both of our programs, but a genuine manifestation of our commitment to work together to provide better care for all children, not just those in our programs, but those who will benefit from the research we will be able to do, and from the education and service our graduates will provide to children in the generations to come.”


Oakwood Healthcare System (OHS) is one of the most comprehensive health care delivery systems in southeastern Michigan. Oakwood serves residents over a 500-square-mile area and operates four acute care hospitals, several health centers and a vast number of specialty services, including four centers of excellence. More than 1,300 physicians, representing nearly every medical, surgical specialty and subspecialty, are affiliated with OHS. The organization serves more than 1.2 million people in 29 communities. In addition, numerous outpatient facilities and healthcare centers are dedicated to fulfilling patient needs across several communities. For more information on Oakwood Healthcare System hospitals, healthcare center locations, physician referrals and appointment scheduling, visit on line at or call 800-543-WELL.


The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a comprehensive university with more than 8,700 students and 500 faculty members offering undergraduate and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, management, education and public administration.




CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: 313-593-5518
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn