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HealthForward Creating a Healthier, More Competitive Region

HealthForward is a key initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber focused on creating a healthier, more competitive region. The initiative focuses on growing and enhancing the productivity of the talent base in the Detroit region by coordinating and convening business, health care, government and non-profit sectors.  The initiative’s goals include promoting and cultivating innovation and health care transformation in metro Detroit, as well as improving the health of the residents in the region. Learn more about HealthForward here. 

Innovation is in the Detroit region’s DNA.

Building on a legacy of health care innovation, the Detroit region has become the one-stop shop for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs who want to lead the health care industry. With cutting-edge research and development facilities, state-of-the art hospitals, and unparalleled talent and manufacturing know-how, the Detroit region positions companies to develop new, sought-after products and solutions to meet medical challenges around the world. As Michigan continues to cluster its rich assets in the Detroit region, make no mistake – the road to health care innovation goes through Detroit.

“The Detroit region is a growing network of leading health care providers and cutting-edge innovators. This environment, combined with the availability of top-ranked information technology talent, provides a powerful foundation to grow our business and share the region’s health care expertise nationwide.” Jim Giordano, President and CEO, CareTech Solutions.

Exceptional Health Care Facilities and Businesses

The health care industry has deep roots in the Detroit region. In fact, more than half of the health care-related businesses in Michigan are located here. With more than 13,000 health care-related businesses and approximately 366,351 jobs in the region, the health care industry has an overall economic impact of $36 billion annually.

The Detroit region is home to several destination medical centers known for ground-breaking research, pioneering technology and exceptional patient care. Most have been locally, regionally, and nationally ranked as one of the 2017 – 2018 Best Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report for Adult and Children’s Specialties.

  • University of Michigan Hospitals, Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, and DMC Harper University Hospital, all based in the Detroit region, were ranked the three best hospitals in Michigan.
  • University of Michigan Hospitals ranked 6th in the top 20 hospitals in the nation.
  • Michigan’s best children’s hospitals are UM’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor and DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit; both of which are also nationally ranked in Children’s Specialties.

Top Regional Health Systems by Revenue

Hospital System2016 Revenue
Beaumont Health$4.1 billion
Henry Ford Health System$3.8 billion
Ascension Michigan$3.5 billion
Trinity Health $3.2 billion
U of M Health System$2.8 billion
McLaren Health$2.7 billion
Detroit Medical Center$1.8 billion
Hurley Medical Center$422.1 million
ProMedica Bixby Hospital$89.5 million
Source: Crain's Detroit Business, 2017 Book of Lists

Largest Regional Health Care Businesses

CompanyCityType of Business
Diplomat Pharmacy Inc.FlintSpecialty pharmacy
Medcart Specialty PharmacyLivoniaSpecialty pharmacy services
InfuSystem Holdings Inc.Madison HeightsSupplier of infusion services to oncologists and other outpatient treatment settings
Rockwell Medical Inc.WixomBiopharmaceutical company targeting end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease
Cayman Chemical Co.Ann ArborManufacturer of biomedical research chemicals
Ash Stevens Inc.RiverviewMakes active pharmaceutical ingredients
Asterand BioscienceDetroitSupplier of human tissue and human tissue-based research services to drug discovery scientists
RTI Laboratories Inc.LivoniaIndependent testing laboratory, specializing in chemical, materials, and environmental testing
Custom Biogenic Systems Inc.Bruce TownshipLife science equipment manufacturer
Innovative BioTherapies Inc.Ann ArborDevelops implantable/extracorporeal devices in field of regenerative medicine
Source: Crain's Detroit Business, 2016 Book of Lists

Research and Development

With Michigan State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University, the University of Detroit-Mercy and the University of Michigan all in close proximity, the Detroit region is a national leader in cutting-edge research and development. Michigan ranks second in the nation in research and development spending.

  • In August of 2016, 1,795 industry-sponsored clinical trials were actively recruiting patients in Michigan. Michigan was the 12th state with the most clinical trials. Source: CenterWatch.
  • In 2015, Michigan ranked 6th in the nation for the total number of patents with 6,184. Only seven nations surpassed Michigan in U.S. patents granted that year. Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • For fiscal year 2015, the National Institutes of Health awarded more than $486.8 million to Michigan to fund 1,125 research projects, of which $425.8 million was awarded to organizations in the Detroit region for 968 projects.
  • In 2014, the University Research Corridor spent $2.1 billion in R&D expenditures and contributed $17.5 billion in net economic activity in Michigan

Research Awards to Michigan, 2015

Funding MechanismAwardsFunding
Research Grants1,125$486,757,613
Research Centers38$50,277,727
Other Research-Related171$49,916,801
Training Grants145$23,920,710
R&D Contracts9$11,886,100
Source: National Institutes of Health
R & D Contracts in Michigan, 2015
Wayne State UniversityDetroit3$6,702,234
University of MichiganAnn Arbor3$3,577,721
Ash Stevens, Inc.Riverview1$807,048
Nanobio CorporationAnn Arbor3$500,000
Detroit R & D, Inc.Detroit 1$299,097
Source: National Institutes of Health
Education and TrainingThe region is home to many institutions that partner with existing medical and technological development facilities. Students receive real world experience and access to cutting-edge tools and practices to advance the progression of innovation in the health care and life sciences fields when they begin their careers. In 2015, Michigan’s University Research Corridor, a partnership between the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, conferred more advanced degrees in the medicine and biological science fields than any peer university cluster in the country.

Regional Institutions for Education and Training

InstitutionCityHealth Care
University of MichiganAnn ArborMedical School
School of Nursing
School of Dentistry
College of Pharmacy
Wayne State UniversityDetroitSchool of Medicine
College of Nursing
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Oakland UniversityRochesterWilliam Beaumont School of Medicine
School of Nursing
School of Health Sciences
Eastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiSchool of Health Sciences
School of Nursing
University of Detroit MercyDetroit McAuley School of Nursing
School of Dentistry

Talent The Detroit region is talent-rich with professionals who have world-class training in engineering and the experience working with the exotic materials and high-precision tooling demanded by the health care industry. The same skills Michigan workers used to put the world on wheels help health care businesses innovate and thrive here.

In 2017,

  • The Detroit MSA is the 10 largest health care workforce in the nation.
  • The Detroit MSA is forecast to gain more than 36,000 health care related jobs over the next 10 years.
  • The average annual wages and salary in the Detroit MSA for health care is $53,691.
  • The Detroit region has the highest concentration of engineering talent in the nation and employs more industrial and mechanical engineers than any other metro area.

Regional Employment by Industry

Industry Description2015 JobsMedian Salary
Ambulatory Health Care Services118,642$56,464
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities57,308$27,885
Source: EMSI

Regional Employment by Occupation

Occupation Description2015 JobsMedian Hourly Earnings
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners96,328$44.14
Health Technologists and Technicians50,112$21.14
Other Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations1,790$23.63
Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides50,479$11.88
Other Healthcare Support Occupations26,560$14.77
Source: EMSI

Major Health Care Investment in the Region

2008: Henry Ford Health System invested $3 million in its genetics laboratory in 2008. St. John Providence Health System invested $141 million to construct the addition of its north pavilion at their St. John Hospital and Medical Center campus.

2009: Henry Ford Health System invested $35 million to expand its downtown Detroit campus. St. John Hospital Providence Health System invested $15 million to renovate its St. John Hospital and Medical Center Emergency Services department.

2010: With the purchase of the Detroit Medical Center, Vanguard Health Services is currently investing $850 million in several of DMC hospitals for renovations and a new children’s hospital tower. St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital opened a newly constructed 50,000 sq. ft. state of the art surgical pavilion and renovated the west wing, investing $54.5 million.

2011: St. John Providence Health System invested $30 million in capital improvements at several facilities in the region.

2012: McLaren Health will open a new 40,000 sq. ft. Central Laboratory in Flint. Baker College donated $1 million to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital to purchase a CT scanner that will assist in the training of Baker students. University of Michigan announced it will open a new $39 million medical facility in 2014 in Oakland County’s Northville Township. Wayne State University, the nation’s largest single campus medical school, announced it will invest $90 million in a biomedical research facility.

2013: St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is continuing to expand with construction well under way for its new $129 million south tower due to open in 2013.

    • Justin
    • Robinson
    • Vice President, Business Attracation
    • 313.580.5230
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    • Justin
    • Robinson
    • Vice President, Business Attracation
    • 313.580.5230
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