Top University of Toledo support leads to bright UTMC future

Top University of Toledo support leads to bright UTMC future
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - One might ask what led to the decision not to sell off the University of Toledo Medical Center?

13abc received some new insight as the state touts its new success and looks toward the future.

There was a lot of uncertainty leading into 2020, and of course, the global pandemic setting in didn’t help any. But the hospital bounced back, and its then-new leadership seems to be a big reason why.

The “Open for Caring” sign inside UTMC’s lobby remains in the school’s midnight blue and gold. In 2020 as the university sought offers for a buyer or a partner, another company could have run the operation.

“The big picture is this needed to stay. That relationship needed to stay. It wouldn’t be helpful to see that separation,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

Governor DeWine admits he wasn’t part of all the discussions to prevent the sale of a hospital that was losing millions of dollars. Those discussions did include Chancellor for higher education, Randy Gardner.

“I remember the first thing I thought was a turning point was when Dr. Postel agreed to come to the University of Toledo,” said Gardner.

That’s UToledo president Doctor Gregory Postel, a physician himself.

“He said, ‘I think I know how to do this. I think I know how to pull the resources together for some longer-term sustainable funding to make this happen,’” said Gardner.

“The people who work at this hospital who have been through the highs and the lows, you can see the encouragement that they demonstrate. They’re excited by what they see,” said Dr. Postel.

Discussions are underway for expansion which includes an adult inpatient behavioral health unit. The trauma unit was upgraded in the last few years. This is one of only two public, academic hospitals in Ohio. It stayed that way when people saw UTMC and the people differently.

“I think they were looking to be appreciated. Looking for someone who valued the work they were doing,” said Dr. Postel.

“Most of the questions were how do we end up doing something different, instead of how do we grow and strengthen UTMC?” Just a dramatic change. Very impressive. I didn’t think it could happen quite so well,” said Gardner.

ProMedica was the only organization that applied to partner with UTMC; that’s the group that still has an academic affiliation agreement. Doctor Postel says that the agreement remains in place, and after some issues with payments, he says UT is receiving its payments.

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