Ron and Heather Boji Donate $5M to MSU and Henry Ford Health Partnership

In a show of support for the partnership between Detroit’s Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University in East Lansing, philanthropists Ron and Heather Boji have made a foundational donation of $5 million intended to help fund the new Health Sciences Center for joint research work near Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
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From left to right: Wright Lassiter, Ron Boji, Heather Boji, and Dr. Samuel L. Stanley // Courtesy of Henry Ford Health/MSU Health Sciences
From left to right: Wright Lassiter, Ron Boji, Heather Boji, and Dr. Samuel L. Stanley // Courtesy of Henry Ford Health/MSU Health Sciences

In a show of support for the partnership between Detroit’s Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University in East Lansing, philanthropists Ron and Heather Boji have made a foundational donation of $5 million intended to help fund the new Health Sciences Center for joint research work near Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

A shared building will allow consolidation of Henry Ford Health and MSU research activities and provide space for recruitment. Architectural planning is underway with a prospective completion date of 2025. Plans for the exact location of the building are still being finalized but it will be constructed on Henry Ford Health’s Detroit campus footprint, south of West Grand Boulevard.

Ron Boji is president and CEO of the Boji Group, a statewide real estate development, property, and construction management firm specializing in private-public-partnerships headquartered in Lansing.

“Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University entered into our historic partnership to be a catalyst for change,” says Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health. “Together our organizations have the collective knowledge, skills, and drive to usher in a new era of medical education and research excellence which will transform how people receive and experience care. We take one step closer to achieving our ambitious goals thanks to the profound generosity of Henry Ford Foundation Board member and MSU alumnus, Ron Boji.”

The partners have accelerated the planning and design for the new joint research building that tightly aligns basic and translational research, fueling innovation and discovery through an academically and clinically integrated network of health care providers, scientists, academics, and public health practitioners.

“This is an exciting next step in the partnership between Michigan State University and Henry Ford Health,” says Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr., president of MSU. “We cannot thank Ron and Heather enough for their leadership and setting an example of how best to help improve healthcare access and support a transformational research program that will work to serve everyone in our state.

“The advancement and discovery that comes from our two organizations joining will impact academic and clinical opportunities and serve as a model for the entire nation. Our new joint facility will be the epicenter of this work, and the Boji’s gift is the first step in making it a reality. Their dedication to our effort is greatly appreciated.”

Another major partnership component includes a fully integrated cancer program, which will combine research and clinical applications to create a national and international destination for access to the most advanced cancer therapies and research, including a joint effort to achieve National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation.

“Both institutions hold a special place in our family’s heart,” says Ron Boji. “The incredible care and compassion of Henry Ford Health helped aid my father’s recovery from a stroke, and MSU gave me the foundation that helped build Boji Group alongside my father. Heather and I are so excited that two of our daughters have decided to attend college there as well, one as a student in the same construction management program I graduated from.”

Additionally, with both institutions sharing a long history of and commitment to health care education and training, MSU and Henry Ford will expand education opportunities for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals, focused on diversity, recruitment and retention, and revolutionized training models.

In February, in an exclusive report, DBusiness Daily News detailed a $4.2-billion plan to transform the area around Henry Ford Hospital into a mixed-use community featuring new and renovated residences, retail offerings, medical and research facilities, industrial buildings, educational centers, added streetscapes, and parks.

To read the article, visit here.

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