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Updated 11:00 AM May 8, 2006




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U-M Health System

$7M gift to advance pediatric emergency medicine,
endow professorship

Providing the highest quality of compassionate emergency medical care, especially to children, has been an important goal for Dr. Ernest Sorini since he began working in the field 30 years ago.

It was his dedication that led him to create an innovative business model that not only helped reduce costs and deliver higher-quality care, but also to substantially reduce patient waiting times in emergency departments across Michigan. Since then, his 30-minute guarantee has become a national model for emergency care.

Now Sorini, of Ann Arbor, and his wife and business partner, Kelly Sorini, will further their commitment to advancing emergency medicine practices and the care of critically ill and injured children through a $7 million gift to the U-M Health System (UMHS).

As part of the gift, $2 million will fund an endowed professorship in the Medical School—to be known as the Ernest John Sorini, M.D. Professorship in Emergency Medicine—and $5 million will create the Sorini Family Children's Emergency Medicine Center in the new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital facility.

"The Sorini Family Children's Emergency Medicine Center will be an extraordinary space in our new children's hospital and a model for pediatric medicine in this country," says Dr. Robert Kelch, executive vice president for medical affairs and UMHS CEO. "Michigan today is a leader in emergency medicine, and we are excited and proud that Ernest and Kelly's gift will become a testament to outstanding emergency medical care at U-M now and into the future."

As busy parents of seven, the Sorinis say they hope the center will honor their children by helping the new Mott Hospital set the national standard for children's emergency medicine—and most importantly, be a source of hope and comfort for families, and inspire others to follow their lead by supporting UMHS.

"As parents we know that when you have a sick child that needs to go to the emergency room, it's only natural to feel frightened and somewhat vulnerable," says Ernest Sorini. "We wanted to do something to help assure parents that, in the unfortunate event they find themselves in such a crisis, the care their children will receive at the U-M will be of the highest quality and the most compassionate possible."

Continues Kelly Sorini: "Ernie and I are absolutely passionate about children, and we want to do everything possible to improve the medical care they receive. So when we decided to turn our passion into something more concrete, it seemed only natural to turn our attention to the University of Michigan, and to invest in enhancing what is already a leading center for children's health."

By establishing the first endowed professorship in emergency medicine at U-M, the Sorinis also are helping to set the stage for new research they hope will reduce injury and disease, especially among children, as well as train the highest quality emergency medicine physicians to provide expert and compassionate emergency care.

"The Sorinis' gift will be instrumental in achieving our goals of being the premier research and training program in emergency medicine and fostering efficient, expert, compassionate care to emergency patients," notes Dr. William Barsan, professor and chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical School and director of the UMHS Emergency Department. "The benefit of their generous gift will be realized by countless patients and trainees in the years to come."

Once complete the Sorini Family Children's Emergency Medicine Center will be home to one of only two dedicated pediatric emergency medicine and urgent care centers in the state. In 2005 more than 20,220 emergency visits by infants and children under age 18 were made to the U-M Children's Emergency Services. More than 5,380 were serious trauma cases.

"Dr. Sorini and his wife, Kelly, are champions for compassionate and skilled care for children, and their gift is a true investment in the future of Michigan's children and emergency medicine physicians," says Dr. Marie Lozon, associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the Medical School and director of Children's Emergency Services.

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