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Superior Health Partners Appoints Corporate Board

April 15, 2010

Community, Business Leaders to Guide New Health System

MARQUETTE — Seven Upper Peninsula business and community leaders have been named to serve on the inaugural Superior Health Partners Board of Directors, Bell Hospital and Marquette General Hospital (MGH) announced today.

Superior Health Partners is a strategic partnership between Bell and MGH being designed to support and create healthcare jobs, improve the quality and efficiency of care, increase access to important medical treatments and services in the local area and entire U.P., as well as prepare for healthcare reform.

The seven community and business leaders who will sit on the first Superior Health Partners Board of Directors will fulfill the significantly important role of overseeing the launch of the new health system, welcoming in new hospital partners, and assuring the new company’s commitment to high quality health care services. The seven board members are:  

Robert DellAngelo, MD is a western Marquette County native and recently retired board-certified ophthalmologist on the staffs of both MGH and Bell. He is a former Bell Hospital Board chairman and Bell Foundation leader.

John Jilbert is the former owner and operator of Jilbert’s Dairy, which has been in the dairy business since 1937, is a partner in Hiawatha Log Homes in Munising, and is an owner and operator of JRJ Food Equipment.  John is a trustee of the Marquette County History Museum and was chairman of the Strategic Thinking Committee at the Milk Processor Education Program (Milk PEP) when the now famous “got milk?” campaign was developed. John is a Lake Linden-Hubbell native.   He also serves as co-chair of the Accelerating the Future capital campaign committee.  

Ron Katers is Bell Hospital’s current Board chairman and also serves as CEO and chairman of M.K. Stores, Inc., which owns and operates nine Snyder Drugs outlets in the Upper Peninsula. He is also owner and treasurer of Mr. Movies of Michigan, Inc. and president of M.K. Enterprises, Inc., a real estate holding and investment company.

Tim Larson was appointed to the MGH Board of Trustees in 1992 and appointed chairman in 2003. Tim is also co-owner of the Holiday Inn and Ramada hotels in Marquette, both family-owned businesses.

A. Gary Muller, FACHE, joined Marquette General Health System as president and CEO in 2007. He will serve as CEO of Superior Health Partners.  Before joining MGHS, Gary served nine years as president and CEO of West Jefferson Medical Center, a 462-bed hospital and health system in metropolitan New Orleans.

MaryAnne P. Shannon, RN, PhD, is a Professor and Associate Dean of Nursing at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, with a clinical practice through Nurse Care Consulting, LLC.  She is a nationally board certified clinical nurse specialist in geriatrics through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and is currently in a fellowship program with the Michigan Hospital Association.

Les Wong, PhD, has served as the president of Northern Michigan University since 2004. His previous administrative positions include provost and academic vice president, along with six months as interim president at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo; and academic dean at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where he began as a faculty member.

Bell Hospital President/CEO Rick Ament said the quality of the new board is outstanding.

“In terms of finding people of integrity, character, high achievement and commitment to the community, this board represents all of those attributes and more,” Ament said. “The people of the Upper Peninsula are well-served by these distinguished individuals.”

The new healthcare delivery system will emphasize high quality that will encourage more people to receive care close to home in the U.P. Other hospitals may join the system as it evolves, which will result in expanding the Superior Health Partners Board of Directors.

Bell and MGH have each received board authorization to proceed with due diligence to form Superior Health Partners. A final agreement should be completed in the next two months. The partnership is not a merger of the hospitals or a purchase of one by the other. Both hospitals are financially strong, and will remain independent but strategically aligned.

By combining the resources and management talent of Bell and MGH (and future hospital partners), Superior Health Partners will focus on enhancing high quality health care services and medical treatments delivered in Marquette County and the Upper Peninsula.

In addition to creating more jobs and improving access to health care services, Superior Health Partners is committed to achieving a new standard for high quality patient care in the U.P. and state. The two partners have committed to achieving:

  • Superior patient satisfaction by placing in the top 1 percent in the nation in patient satisfaction,
  • Superior health care quality and efficiency by participating in MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality initiatives, and meeting national clinical outcome benchmarks.

Superior Health Partners will create a health care delivery system capable of meeting future healthcare reform standards, which likely will focus on reducing costs while maintaining high quality. Medicare and private payers are moving toward a model called an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) for accomplishing “value based healthcare.” The ACO model relies on partnerships of healthcare providers to manage the health of the patient population. Successful ACOs will be rewarded financially, providing resources to invest in technology, jobs and other improvements in patient care.  Superior Health Partners will assemble the components to build an ACO that could serve the entire Upper Peninsula and beyond.

For more information, please visit, a blog that provides answers to important questions about the partnership and gives visitors the opportunity to ask questions.


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