Medical students at OUWB to benefit from school’s second successful golf outing
An image of golfers at the OUWB 2023 Golf Outing
The 2023 OUWB Golf Outing was for the benefit students of the medical school, but that didn't mean golfers didn't take the competition seriously.

The Corewell Health OUWB Classic Golf Outing was held Monday, bringing together golfers for the benefit of the school’s medical students.

The outing was held at the world-class R&S Sharf Golf Course at the Oakland University Golf & Learning Center.

Nearly 150 golfers participated. Funds raised support medical student scholarships.

Title sponsor was Corewell Health. Returning sponsors were Beaumont ACO; Blue Cross Blue Shield; Priority Health; Pixley Funeral Homes; and Michigan Orthopedic Surgeons. New this year were Vizient Inc., North West Labs, and Michigan Mobile PET Imaging.

Duane Mezwa, M.D., Stephan Sharf Dean, OUWB, said it was a great day for an even better cause. During the afterglow, Mezwa expressed gratitude for everyone involved, including several family members who played.

“I couldn’t ask for a better day to spend with family than out there and with the rest of you,” he said. “On behalf of our students, faculty, and staff, I want to express our appreciation for all of the sponsors of our golf outing.”

Among the golfers were physicians like Anthony Stallion, M.D., professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, OUWB, and chief of Pediatric Surgery at Beaumont Children’s. He said he felt it was important to be part of the event because it supports OUWB’s overall mission.

“To serve the community and help with OUWB’s ability to have scholarships that lead to a diverse class each year is important,” he said.

“Medical school isn’t a cheap endeavor," he added. "There are many people who are deserving, but can’t afford it.”

Nick Gilpin, M.D., assistant professor of Internal Medicine, OUWB, and system director of infection prevention, Corewell Health, said he wanted to participate for two reasons.

“We played last year and had a great time,” he said. “But a big, big part of it was that I really wanted to come out to support Dean Mezwa and his efforts to increase the scholarship fund for students.”

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Claus Weimann, director of Philanthropy, OUWB, said that between the sponsors and participants, the amount of funding that will be directed to students from the outing “increased significantly” compared with last year. Sponsorships alone increased from about $20,000 in 2022 to more than $100,000 this year, according to Weimann.

He expressed a deep gratitude for the sponsors, including Vizient, which was a first-time and presenting sponsor.

Based in Irving, Texas, Vizient bills itself as the nation's largest member-driven health care performance improvement company, serving more than 60% of the nation's acute care providers, which includes 97% of the nation's academic medical centers, and more than 25% of the non-acute care market. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $130 billion in annual purchasing volume.

Jonathan Parks, diversity outreach and relationship director, Vizient, said Oakland University is “near and dear” to his heart. He earned two degrees from the school.

“Education is important and anything we can do to help lower the financial burdens our young adults take on will help make them better students,” he said. “Any organization that is able to support this kind of effort should do it.”

An image of Giuliano Romano speaking at the event afterglowAn image of Giuliano Romano speaking at the event afterglow
Giuliano Romano, M1, spoke at the golf outing afterglow event.

Giuliano Romano, M1, spoke during the afterglow event. He expressed gratitude on behalf of himself and his classmates who have benefited from scholarships. Romano is from Macomb, Michigan, and earned an undergraduate degree from Oakland University.

“I’m extremely grateful for the numerous ways I’m supported by OUWB and the community as a whole,” he said. “OUWB’s commitment to scholarship and financial support is something that I feel makes our school special and was a large deciding factor in my decision to attend.”

Weimann said there were other benefits of the outing, as well.

One of the biggest is that the event provides a great networking opportunity, whether it’s doctors connecting with their colleagues, alumni catching up with each other, or current students mingling with both groups.

“For a doctor to take off a full day to play golf is a big deal,” he said. “We’re really thankful for those who come in and spend the day with us.”

Brent Yelton and Shivam Patel — both M4s about to participate in commencement — viewed it as a great opportunity to relax and connect.

“Any day on the golf course is a good day,” said Yelton. “Plus, I got to meet some M1s, which we don’t get to interact with as much in third and fourth year (of medical school).”

Patel said it was nice to be in a more casual setting with physicians he’s worked with in clinical situations.

An image of Shivam Patel golfing
Shivam Patel, M4, at the OUWB 2023 Golf Outing.

“I recognized a lot of the attendings I’ve worked with in the past year,” he said. “They take working in a teaching hospital as a serious part of their job, which is really nice.”

Hoon Oh and James Um — both M1s and on the 2023-24 executive board for the OUWB Urology Interest Group — were able to connect with the likes of Yelton and Patel, who matched earlier this year in urology.

Oh said when he saw the inaugural version of the golf outing last year, he was “super pumped.”

Participating this year lived up to his expectations.

“Golf was a huge thing I did during gap year because it’s a really good way to de-stress and spend time with friends and family,” he said. “This was one of the best times I’ve had this year, by far. I thought I would have to give up golf for med school, but here we are, having a blast.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at [email protected].

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

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