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October 31, 2023

SVSU-Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital tuition agreement aims to boost educational opportunities for Ascension associates

Additionally, a new fellowship at SVSU will support neuroscience projects

Two women flanked by two men

Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital and Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) are working together to strengthen the region’s workforce and improve quality of patient care by increasing access to educational opportunities. 

The two organizations today announced an agreement to offer eligible employees of Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital, as well as Ascension Standish Hospital and Ascension St. Joseph Hospital reduced tuition at SVSU. In addition, they announced a newly restructured Field/Spicer Fellowship in Science and Engineering at SVSU that will further expand opportunities in neuroscience research and education.

“SVSU is pleased to partner with Ascension St. Mary’s to provide greater access to educational opportunities,” said George Grant Jr, president of SVSU. “Both of our organizations recognize the need for a well-prepared workforce. Through this partnership, Ascension Michigan employees in Saginaw, Standish and Tawas City have the potential to expand and enhance their academic credentials so they can advance in their careers.”

Ascension Michigan’s northern region health ministries have more than 2,100 associates providing care at their hospitals and health centers, placing them among the top employers in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Numerous professions serve at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital, Ascension Standish Hospital and Ascension St. Joseph Hospital, including physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, clinicians, laboratory scientists to business, information technology, facilities management, food and nutrition, among many other fields. These professions align with the state’s most in-demand careers as forecast by the State of Michigan. Through its undergraduate, graduate and certification programs, SVSU offers pathways to more than 35 of these “hot jobs.”

“We are excited to partner with SVSU to make educational opportunities even more accessible to our associates,” said Stephanie Duggan, MD, FACEP, FAAPL, CPE, president and CEO, North Region, Ascension Michigan. “We have embraced SVSU students at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital for decades to complete clinical rotations and gain valuable experience. Many of our leaders attended SVSU to advance their education and achieve higher degrees in medical fields, business and leadership. This opportunity will further enhance access to affordable educational opportunities through SVSU so associates have the ability to advance their careers.”

Ascension offers a tuition reimbursement program to encourage associates to further their professional and technical skills. All eligible full and part-time associates can receive reimbursement for tuition and other eligible school and coursework fees following successful completion of educational courses or degree programs offered through accredited institutions like SVSU. The program provides associates with an opportunity to enhance job performance and satisfaction, and career advancement.

In addition to the tuition agreement, a fellowship program established at SVSU through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. E. Malcolm Field will promote interdisciplinary work that bridges health sciences, biology, engineering and technology. The Field/Spicer Fellowship in Science and Engineering will provide funding for a visiting research scientist; fellowships for SVSU faculty and staff; development of academic and research programs such as neuro nursing, neuropsychology and related areas of engineering; and guest lectures and symposia. 

Dr. Field is a nationally renowned neurosurgeon and founder of Field Neurosciences Institute (FNI) at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital. Through his extraordinary work ethic and skill, he helped build Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital into the region’s most advanced neurological care center.   

Through its collaboration with Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital, the university continues to strengthen its ties to the healthcare community, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship that supports the growth and prosperity of both institutions and enhances the caliber of patient care and services available to the region.

Additional details about application procedures and tuition benefits will be made available to associates at Ascension St. Mary’s, Ascension Standish and Ascension St. Joseph hospital through human resources and internal communication channels.