Michael & Marian Ilitch give Wayne State University $8.5M gift for Department of Surgery

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Michael and Marian Ilitch have given Wayne State University an $8.5 million gift for the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine.

This gift will set up an unrestricted fund to help with the development of new surgical technologies and research.

"Michael and Marian Ilitch have made a transformative investment in the Department of Surgery at our medical school," Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson said. "Their commitment will help continue the department's legacy of achievement. It also will advance research, which will inform the future of surgery and position Wayne State as a leader in health care innovation."

Home to the first successful heart pump in 1952, the WSU Department of Surgery, chaired by Dr. Donald W. Weaver, continually looks for ways to advance surgical innovations.

"We've made this gift to support the life-saving work of Dr. Weaver and his team at Wayne State University," Marian Ilitch said. "Our community is rightfully proud of Detroit's growing reputation as a center for high-tech health care. We are happy that our gift will help spur even more local innovation in this field, while attracting new people, companies and jobs to Detroit and Southeast Michigan."

Technologies under way at WSU include the world's first patient-specific surgical simulator and a "robotic finger with eyes."

Wayne State University will name the new department the Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery.

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