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U. of Illinois Looking at Medical Overhaul

URBANA Ill.—University University of Illinois trustees later this month will start considering changes in how the university’s hospital, clinics and medical colleges are run, but some faculty members want to slow the process down.

According to The News-Gazette in Champaign, a trustees committee on Monday agreed to advance the plan.

The university’s medical assets are now overseen by a vice president for health affairs. Among the changes, the new plan would create a vice chancellor for health affairs who would oversee them but report to the Chicago campus chancellor.

During Monday’s meeting, Avijit Ghosh, who is a special assistant to university President Robert Easter, explained that the plan is intended pull the hospital and other medical facilities together.

“The motivation for the changes is to create an integrated academic health medical center comprising the hospital, the clinics and health science colleges on the Chicago campus,” he said.

Dimitri Azar, dean of the College of Medicine, said deans of the health science colleges support the proposal.

But UIC School of Health Professor Vicky Persky says some faculty want to know more and have a greater say in the proposal.

Last week, a faculty group on the Chicago campus sent a report to Easter listing questions and potential concerns about finances and the autonomy of the academic side of the medical operation.

“The devil is in the details,” the report from the Faculty Senate said. “Unless we can dig deeper into the consequences of the proposed changes, we can say with a lot of certainty we will have subsequent problems.”

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