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U.P. Leaders Celebrate Formation of Superior Health Partners

May 27, 2010


Event Marks Start of New Healthcare System in Northern Michigan

Marquette General Hospital and Bell Hospital officials shake hands after signing the affiliation agreement between the two hospitals, officially forming Superior Health Partners. From left are: MGH Board President Tim Larson, MGH/Superior Health Partners CEO Gary Muller, Bell CEO Rick Ament and Bell Board President Ron Katers.


MARQUETTE —Business, community and political leaders came together today to mark the legal formation of Superior Health Partners, a strategic partnership between hospitals designed to support and create healthcare jobs and improve access to high quality healthcare treatments and services in the Upper Peninsula.

The new company, formed by Bell Hospital and Marquette General Hospital (MGH), will also prepare the region for a new era of healthcare delivery that will follow implementation of federal healthcare reform.  Additional hospital members and strategic payor relationships are being developed.

Superior Health Partners’ board will start work immediately on Strategic Plan development.  Anticipating the future based on recent federal legislation, SHP will move toward an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model.  This model relies on close hospital partnerships, collaborative alignment with physicians, robust Information Technology infrastructure and operational expense management.  These will be the business priorities.

“Residents and communities in the U.P. and all of Northern Michigan deserve the best healthcare treatment and services closer to home,” said Superior Health Partners CEO Gary Muller, who will also continue to serve, for now, as MGH President and CEO. “They also deserve the highest quality care delivered in the most efficient ways possible. That is the pledge of Superior Health Partners.”

Bell Hospital President/CEO Rick Ament said under healthcare reform, “quality wins.”

“The hospital systems and regions that are committed to the highest possible healthcare quality will be best positioned to flourish in the future,” Ament said.   “Superior Health Partners is all about healthcare quality, access and jobs close to home.”

Muller, Ament and the hospital boards marked the legal formation of Superior Health Partners today at a breakfast event at Northern Michigan University attended by business, political and community leaders from across the U.P.

Marquette General Hospital/Superior Health Partners CEO Gary Muller signs the affiliation agreement between Marquette General Hospital and Bell Hospital.

It’s important to note that Superior Health Partners 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, 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.  Participating in the MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety and Quality initiatives as well as demonstrating national Best Practices will be the standard for Quality.  Service Excellence will be noticeable and assured through national Patient Satisfaction benchmarks.

Superior Health Partners will create a health care delivery system capable of meeting
future healthcare reform standards, which will focus on reducing costs while maintaining high quality.   The commitment is to offer the greatest value for our patients.




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