Skip to content

Health care just got stronger in the Upper Peninsula

February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010 – The Mining Journal

We are very encouraged about the future of health care in the Upper Peninsula following the announcement last week that Bell Hospital and Marquette General Hospital are forming a new working partnership. Health care just got much stronger for our entire area.

It’s expected this partnership will recruit a significant number of new physicians who will provide services in specialty areas not currently being served.

And the stakes are high. It is estimated that more than $100 million a year in health care dollars leaves the U.P. If this new partnership can recapture even 25 percent of those dollars, it will mean several hundred new health care jobs for our region. It also means that both access and quality of health care delivery will be significantly improved.

Each hospital has been recognized for the quality of care it has. Bell is consistently ranked in the 99th percentile for inpatient satisfaction among 1,800 hospitals surveyed nationwide.

For the fourth consecutive year, Marquette General was recently named one of the nation’s 100 top hospitals for cardiovascular care by Thomson Reuters, which examined clinical outcomes at about 1,000 hospitals nationwide.

By forming this new partnership, each hospital can benefit from the other’s strengths. Prior to the announcement, the rumor mill had started, implying one or both hospitals were in fiscal trouble and that is why they were joining forces.

From where we sit, the situation is exactly the opposite. Both hospitals are operating well into the black, which made it easier to convince bondholders that this partnership made sense.

This area is very fortunate to have two very strong CEOs running our hospitals. Rick Ament and Gary Muller both have strong backgrounds in the hospital business. They both also have the ability to look to the future to see what is best for health care in the U.P. without letting egos get involved. They have both built strong management teams and staffs, which has been a large part of their individual successes.

The boards of directors at both institutions are to be congratulated for realizing that a partnership like this is necessary.

Considering that health care is the largest employer in the U.P., it is exciting to know that because of this new partnership the future of the region’s health care industry is projected to see significant growth.

It is also clear that these hospitals are going to maintain their individual identities to serve their own communities. The new Bell Hospital will continue to serve the greater Ishpeming area and can take pride in what a great job the community did to support this beautiful new facility.

Marquette General will continue to serve the Marquette area and can also continue to strengthen its regional relationships with its neighbors.

We hope other community hospitals pay attention to this new partnership and the benefits it offers to strengthen health care delivery in the U.P.

We would like to see other hospitals join this unique partnership. We already know that the Upper Peninsula has the best people on Earth; now working together we will have the best health care provided by the best people on Earth.

In addition, we hope that this partnership serves as a model for schools, cities, townships and other government agencies, which means they can consolidate services and become stronger by working together.


Comments are closed.