Empowering Futures in Medical Education

Robert G. Sawyer, MD
Robert G. Sawyer, MD
The Hal B. Jenson, MD Dean

On June 8, 2021, the medical school received a philanthropic commitment of $300 million, the Empowering Futures Gift, to support the mission of the medical school. The donors of this transformative gift believe that inclusive education empowers people and communities to create a bright future for all.

I am inviting others from our community to join with me and the members of the medical school to engage with us and support activities that empower the future of medical education at WMed.

Listed below are four mission critical initiatives that we have identified at WMed that will play a critical role as we begin the second decade of our leadership in medical education. These mission critical initiatives include: supporting student success; supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in medical education; expanding access and opportunity through scholarships; and fostering innovation, collaboration, and discovery.

I invite you to join us to make WMed a national leader for empowering futures in medical education.


Robert G. Sawyer, MD
Interim Dean

  • Empowering Futures: Supporting Student Success

    The WMed Fund is the way that every donor can support student success and create expanded educational opportunities for all WMed students. Gifts to The WMed Fund support student success by providing resources like emergency funds to help prevent students from dropping out of medical school due to unexpected financial emergencies, funding for students to participate in medical research under the guidance of a WMed faculty member, the purchase of personal protective equipment and supplies necessary to teach and study medicine, access to state-of-the-art patient simulation experiences, and much more. Consider making a gift to The WMed Fund to support student success. 

  • Empowering Futures: Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Medical Education

    Educating a physician workforce that looks like and reflects the patients they will serve requires new strategies for the recruitment of students, faculty, residents, and staff who have been underrepresented in medicine. Through the development of new strategies to attract and retain students and educators of color, innovations in curricula and teaching pedagogy, and creative partnerships with healthcare, business, and education are needed for WMed to become a more inclusive and diverse learning community. Central to the core mission of WMed is actively working to reduce and eliminate disparities in healthcare in Michigan and across the nation. As a country, it is imperative that medical education become more representative of the society we serve. We invite our donors, healthcare partners, and the community to join with us in building a more diverse and inclusive approach to medical education.

  • Empowering Futures: Expanding Access and Opportunity Through Scholarships

    There is currently a national shortage of physicians in every specialty area of medicine. In order to grow the number of medical doctors serving our nation, we must expand the access for students to high quality medical education like that which is offered at WMed. New current-use and endowed scholarships are needed to expand educational opportunities for students called to serve in the field of medicine. WMed has established a strategic priority to significantly increase scholarship support for all students applying to the medical school. This will provide a direct and tangible way to increase the access to high quality medical education and the opportunities to come to WMed to study medicine.  We invite our donors, supporters, and stakeholders to step forward to partner with us to create new scholarships that can reduce the loan burden taken on by physicians through their medical education and thereby increase the opportunity for all to study medicine at WMed in Kalamazoo.

  • Empowering Futures: Fostering Innovation, Collaboration, and Discovery

    WMed has the DNA of Kalamazoo’s century-long legacy of research and scientific discovery establishing a solid foundation for innovation, collaboration, and discovery in medical education. As the science of medicine continues to evolve, our faculty are inspired to create innovative approaches to medical education using new state-of-the art technologies that will prepare the next generation of physicians for the patient care and research applications of tomorrow.

    The W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus is currently the envy of most medical schools, but innovation funding is needed to further develop new teaching, learning, and research spaces for WMed to stay at the forefront of medical education.

    In a community-based medical school like WMed, collaboration is at the heart of all we do. Funding to launch new collaborative ventures with healthcare systems across the state and partner with business, government, and non-profit partners, will continue to be key to the fulfillment of WMed’s core mission. Collaborations that improve and advance the quality of healthcare in Southwest Michigan and across the nation will continue to be priorities for the medical school.  

    Basic science and clinical research will continue to be a top priority of the medical school. Advances in medical research require state-of-the-art scientific equipment and instrumentation, the latest in computer software and hardware, and safety systems to protect the medical school researchers and investigators who study new advances in disease detection, prevention, and treatment. 

    Innovation, collaboration, and discovery will continue to be critically important elements of the medical school mission. Our stakeholders, donors, and collaboration partners are invited to step forward to make advances in medical education, medical research, and patient care possible.

Join Us in Empowering Futures in Medical Education

To start a conversation, or to learn more about any of WMed’s mission critical initiatives for Empowering Futures in Medical Education, please contact a member of the WMed Philanthropy Team to start a no-obligation conversation. Contact us by email at giving@wmed.edu, by phone at 269.337.4509, or make a gift online through the secure button below.