UT outlines money spent in ProMedica academic affiliation

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As the future of the University of Toledo Medical Center remains unknown, questions have arisen about why an affiliation between ProMedica and UT’s Medical School hasn't kept the hospital viable.

Now the 13abc I-Team digs into where dollars are being spent and what it means for education and the community.

It’s one of the issues that has come up in community meetings, where financial losses of the hospital are discussed. They're already $12 million in the hole for the first half of the fiscal year.

The academic affiliation between ProMedica and the College of Medicine called for over $160 million to be paid to the college. The dollars were never intended to be spent at the hospital.

"I want to know where that money is. I want to know if all that money has changed hands,” said former Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner at a recent community meeting.

Finkbeiner was asking about the $162.5 million promised by ProMedica for the academic affiliation with the University of Toledo College of Medicine. Without those dollars, there were some concerns.

"That's the thing, one of the reason the affiliation was signed was there really was an imbalance in trying to meet the college of medicine mission," said Dr. James Kleshinski, the Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.

Dr. Kleshinski broke down where those College of Medicine dollars have gone since the affiliation started in 2015:

• $27,099,365 for undergraduate medical education. That’s for students in the medical program and curriculum enhancement.

• $29,773,977 for the graduate medical education program. Those dollars fund grad students and increasing the faculty.

"We tried to align the clinical education earlier on in the med school so rather than them just doing just basic science type things which was traditional, they're actually getting out into the clinics and doing things,” said Dr. Kleshinski.

• $20,767,462 for research, trying to attract research chairs for example and then letting them do their work.

"When we recruit them in, we recruit them with a research package. That's something that allows them to open up a lab, to have funds to do that, and also to recruit faculty they want to bring in for their specific arena," said Dr. Kleshinski.

• The final area is $25,472,893 for academic and clinical program development which includes scholarships.

School leaders said these dollars and the entire affiliation, which sends the students and residents to Toledo Hospital, was designed to give students a better learning experience.

"It makes us more attractive to medical students looking to come or residents that are looking to join because they see the opportunities they'll have in the community," said Dr. Kleshinski.

Just over $103 million of the $162.5 million will be paid by end of the fiscal year in June according to the school. There's still one more year of payments due.

The school said the dollar figure is a little lower than expected because of fewer than expected residents.

School leaders point out that more medical students have decided to do their residency at UT in the last few years than in past years before the affiliation. The hope is that if they do a residency here, they'll want to then stay here to practice medicine in our community.