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Former Beaumont pediatrics chief joins Detroit Medical Center team

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

The former chief of pediatrics at Michigan's largest health system has accepted a leadership role with University Pediatricians, the group pediatrics practice at the Detroit Medical Center's Children's Hospital of Michigan. 

Dr. Brian Berman left the eight-hospital Beaumont Health system on May 6. Beaumont Health wouldn't comment, leaving reasons for his departure after eight years unclear. 

Berman, a hematologist, or specialist in blood disorders, has been named director of physician relations and network development for University Pediatricians, which holds an exclusive contract to treat patients at DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, beginning Sept. 1.

Dr. Brian Berman

As chief of the pediatrics service line at Beaumont, Berman jointly served as chair of pediatrics at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine —  a position he no longer holds since he departed Beaumont Health, he told The Detroit News.

"I'm very, very enthused to work with University Pediatricians," said Berman, who declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his departure from Beaumont. 

"Their exclusive arrangement to provide services at Children's Hospital really places them in a position of involvement in a nationally recognized center of excellence, providing the highest level of pediatric care in the region." 

Berman said he will continue to treat patients with blood disorders while working on behalf of University Pediatricians to improve relationships with community hospitals and facilities throughout Southeast Michigan. 

He would not comment on his departure from Beaumont, which has been beset by physician unrest in recent weeks.

Some Beaumont doctors have circulated a "no confidence" petition in opposition to health system's administration. Among the complaints cited as contributing to the discontent were April layoffs of about 2,475 employees and the permanent elimination of about 450 positions as well as cuts in pediatrics, including a reduction in pediatric emergency services. 

"We do not comment on personnel matters," Beaumont spokesman Mark Geary said when asked about the circumstances surrounding Berman's departure.

"We have not eliminated or reduced pediatric services, and we remain committed to serving our pediatric patients," Geary added. "However, over the past few months, due to the pandemic, we have adjusted some of our pediatric staffing levels based upon dramatically reduced patient volumes.

"Our pediatric emergency services remain strong. We know how important it is for our community to have access to high-quality pediatric care. In fact, Beaumont is planning to expand pediatric services."

According to the University Pediatricians practice group at DMC, Berman has been a regional leader in pediatrics for many years, with ties to the pediatric communities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. 

In his new position, he will report to University Pediatricians President Dr. Kathleen Meert.

"University Pediatricians is delighted to have Dr. Brian Berman join our faculty," Meert said in a statement.

"His leadership within the pediatric community will help increase patient access to the subspecialty care offered by University Pediatricians and his clinical expertise will be an asset to our patient-care services and training programs."

kbouffard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @kbouffardDN