Michigan Medicine plans joint venture with St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Chelsea

March 15, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Michigan Medicine and the St. Joseph Mercy Health System announced on Wednesday plans to establish a joint venture which will operate the 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital in Chelsea, Michigan.

The two parties signed a letter of intent launching a due diligence period during which final details of the joint venture will be determined.

“Michigan Medicine wants to partner with health care organizations that deliver high quality and high value,” said David Spahlinger, M.D., president of the U-M Health System, the organization’s clinical enterprise.

“St. Joseph Mercy Health System has a longstanding, positive reputation for delivering high quality care to their communities. We look forward to working together on improving health care access and quality for the local community and the entire state.”

Under the definitive agreement — whose terms will be worked out now that the letter of intent has been signed — both St. Joseph Mercy and Michigan will have an interest in the hospital. St. Joseph Mercy will maintain control and manage hospital operations, including appointing its leaders.

Once approved, the agreement will expand the surgical procedures Michigan Medicine provides at the Chelsea hospital. It will also increase access to U-M physicians for patients in Chelsea and surrounding communities.

“We are excited to bring our capabilities closer to patients,” Spahlinger said. “We have long cared for patients in the greater Chelsea area — but who travel to and from Ann Arbor for their care. With this affiliation, Chelsea-area patients will have expanded care choices closer to home.”

“This emerging relationship is groundbreaking in Michigan; patient-centered collaboration is in the best interests of our communities. Together we can offer high quality care locally and higher levels of specialized care when necessary,” said Rob Casalou, regional president and CEO, St. Joseph Mercy Health System.

Nancy Graebner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, is also excited about the agreement.

“The planned joint venture expands upon years of successful collaboration between our two organizations,” Graebner said. “This natural progression of our relationship will enhance our ability to provide a broader range of services jointly with Michigan Medicine.”

This agreement is part of a larger statewide strategy between Michigan Medicine and Trinity-owned Mercy Health and St. Joseph Mercy.

The expanded relationships follow the February announcement of a professional services agreement between Mercy Health cardiothoracic surgery and the department of cardiac surgery at Michigan Medicine. Additionally, the organizations will work together to better deliver clinical care to patients in west Michigan and will collaborate in graduate medical education.