Eight Michigan Health Care Organizations Form Value-Driven Coalition

A group of Michigan health care organizations have joined forces to create greater value for their patients and communities by forming Value Health Partners. The coalition’s focus will involve improving value through:

  • clinical quality and best practices
  • community health improvement programs to address health disparities for at-risk populations
  • advocacy to represent a variety of Michigan communities on policy issues

“Value Health Partners is a collaborative initiative to leverage the strengths of eight different organizations that each has unique services and patient populations,” said Joseph Wasserman, chairman of the board of directors for Value Health Partners and President & CEO of Lakeland HealthCare in St. Joseph.'”Through a coordinated effort we believe we can provide greater value to our patients and families, and the communities we serve. There is much we can accomplish given our shared expertise and resources as well as the wealth of experience each organization has acquired over the years.”

Value Health Partners includes:

  • Bronson Healthcare Group, Kalamazoo
  • Covenant HealthCare, Saginaw
  • Foote Health System, Jackson
  • Lakeland HealthCare, St. Joseph
  • Munson Healthcare, Traverse City
  • Northern Michigan Regional Hospital, Petoskey
  • Sparrow Health System, Lansing
  • Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids

Through collaboration and mutual accountability, Value Health Partners expects its efforts to result in improved access and quality care for patients as well as the ability to better control costs. It also plans to optimize the performance of member organizations by sharing best practices and clinical quality metrics. In addition, Value Health Partners will combine efforts to represent the concerns of a broad cross-section of communities to address Michigan and federal government policy and funding issues.

‘”As health care changes, being part of this collaboration will help our organizations develop and implement a standard of care that better serves our patients and community,” said Richard C. Breon, vice chair for Value Health Partners Board of Directors, and President & CEO, Spectrum Health.

“There are many avenues to pursue together. We have decided to focus on those areas that offer significant opportunities,” said Wasserman. “For example, in terms of community health improvement, we will evaluate community health data and current programs to help each organization determine what will have the greatest impact and which programs can be replicated in other communities.

Rigorous measures and proven programs will be used. In addition, by building a database across all of our communities, we can begin to evaluate trends and health outcomes of a much larger population for disease management of conditions such as diabetes.”

Value Health Partners CEOs plan to meet quarterly to discuss collaborative efforts. Mary Kay Kempker-VanDriel will serve as president of Value Health Partners. She was formerly director of Spectrum Health’s Healthier Communities department and has nearly 30 years of experience in collaborative health care efforts and community health improvement.

“Value Health Partners represents an opportunity for collaboration at its best – leveraging resources to achieve common goals,” Van-Driel said. “In my experience, that’s the most effective way to effect real change and have impact in communities.”

About Value Health Partners

Bronson Healthcare Group is a not-for-profit healthcare system serving southwest Michigan with a 750 member medical staff and a workforce of 5,000.’ Its flagship hospital, Bronson Methodist in Kalamazoo, provides care in virtually every specialty and is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for quality and performance excellence.

Covenant HealthCare, the sixth largest hospital in Michigan, provides care to people in 20 counties throughout East Central Michigan. As the second largest employer in Saginaw County, Covenant offers high quality comprehensive medical services including cardiovascular, neurosciences, orthopedics, obstetrics, emergency and trauma care, and the LifeNet air ambulance.

Foote Health System is a regional healthcare provider serving people in six Michigan counties. Foote is a 411-bed system that employs more than 3,000 and offers comprehensive health services in many locations to assure that healthcare excellence is available close to home. Specialty services include Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Pain Management, Diabetes Center, Radiation Oncology and a Sleep Disorders Center.

Lakeland HealthCare is a not-for-profit health care system that employs 3,000 people and partners with 300 primary and specialty-care physicians. The 665-bed regional system includes three hospitals, two long-term care facilities, the Center for Outpatient Services, walk-in clinics, home care, hospice, and laboratory, radiology and rehabilitation services.

Munson Healthcare is a regional not-for-profit health care system that brings together seven hospitals, home health services, and ground and air EMS to serve patients from 32 counties in northern Michigan and the eastern U.P. Within the system, 5,800 employees and 660 physicians work to connect patients with quality care close to home in 57 specialties.

Northern Michigan Regional Hospital is a 243-bed, regional referral center located in Petoskey, serving residents in 22 counties across northern lower Michigan and the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. A medical staff of more than 175 physicians represents nearly all medical and surgical specialties, enabling full-service care with an emphasis on heart, cancer, orthopedics and neuroscience services.

Sparrow is a non-profit, community governed, comprehensive health system dedicated to improving the health status of all the people throughout the mid-Michigan region. Sparrow combines the expertise of more than 7,000 associates, 900 physicians and 1,600 volunteers to deliver quality health services both directly and by working cooperatively with others in the Lansing region.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and 560,000-member health plan, Priority Health. Spectrum Health’s 14,000 employees, 1,500 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need.

Media Contacts

Bronson Healthcare: Jason Manshum’ 269-341-8747;

Covenant HealthCare: Leslie J. Perry 989-583-7655;

Foote Health System: Shannon Scholten 517-841-7438;

Lakeland HealthCare: Erin Gerard 269-927-5123;

Munson Healthcare: Meghan Whinnery 231-935-3390

Northern Michigan Regional Hospital: Eric Baldwin 231-487-4003;

Sparrow Health System: John Berg 517-364-2509;

Spectrum Health: Bruce Rossman 616-391-3706;