In an effort to move beyond what interim Michigan State University President John Engler called the "cancer" that was Larry Nassar, the university on Wednesday announced a reorganization of its medical schools and clinics in an effort to improve patient care and safety.

The university has created a new associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs to help the university's health services work better together, Engler said at a news conference on campus Tuesday.

While light on specifics, the short-term goal, Engler said, is to improve the quality of care in a holistic manner for the university's patients and help patients access care more quickly.

One example Engler gave is that students should not have to wait weeks to access mental health services.

Longer-term, Engler said the effort would develop national best practices that could be used elsewhere to lower the cost of health care services and improve their quality.

Nassar, a former MSU physician, was sentenced to decades in prison in recent weeks for sexually assaulting MSU patients and others.

University officials have been criticized for their handling of the Nassar case because at least some MSU employees knew about allegations against Nassar as early as 1997, but the university didn't fire him until 2016.

Engler on Wednesday said the announcement was an action that would help restore trust in the university.

“We can say all we want about whatever it is, but we have to actually act, we have to do, and that’s what we’re doing today," Engler said. "That’s where you get confidence and that’s where you get the trust.”

Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., a graduate of MSU's College of Human Medicine who returned to lead the college in 2016, is expected to be appointed associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs.

Anthony M. Avellino, CEO of OSF Healthcare Illinois Neurological Institute, will become assistant provost for student health, wellness and safety and chief medical officer for the MSU HealthTeam.

John Engler speaks after being appointed interim MSU president:

John Engler speaks after being selected as interim president of Michigan State University, Jan. 31, 2018. (Robert Killips | Lansing State Journal)

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