Frequently Asked Questions: U-M Health and Sparrow Health System

April 3, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Announcements

What was announced?

University of Michigan Health has announced that all legal and regulatory requirements have been completed and Sparrow Health System (Sparrow) is now legally part of the University of Michigan Health. This milestone marks an exciting new chapter and is poised to expand services to Mid-Michigan residents, provide increased access to the highest level of care and improve facilities and technology.

Why are Sparrow and University of Michigan Health a good fit?

By coming together, the combined organization is creating a clinical care network that builds upon the strengths of the world-class University of Michigan Health academic medical center and Sparrow’s successful community-based health system. There are several reasons why both organization’s Leadership Teams and Boards are confident this is the right step at the right time.

Joining University of Michigan Health enables Sparrow to accelerate the expansion of services, build greater breadth and depth of clinical expertise, and seamlessly integrate leading-edge technology and other updates into facilities. For University of Michigan Health, this advances the organization’s long-term vision of a statewide system of highly coordinated care—a vision that Sparrow also embraces and is excited to realize together. As a result, patients will have more coordinated specialty care and be able to stay close to home.

What integration activities will we see in the near term?

Our teams will begin to collaborate more freely to determine how we can better serve our patients and accelerate growth moving forward. We plan to conduct a thoughtful integration process including administrative and physician leaders from University of Michigan Health, Sparrow and University of Michigan Health-West to consider the best way to align our systems, processes and policies to ensure success across our combined organization.

How does University of Michigan Health-West fit into the integration process?

University of Michigan Health-West will be included in the integration process, ensuring the eventual combined operating model is informed by best practices from each organization.

How long will the full integration process take?

We plan to conduct a thoughtful integration process over the coming months, but different service lines will have unique integration needs and timing considerations.  This will require a phased approach that will be pragmatically planned.

Are there any immediate changes to the Sparrow name or branding?

No. While our leaders recognize the importance of unifying the University of Michigan Health and Sparrow brand, it is important to us that we execute the transition of Sparrow branding in a thoughtful manner. While we do expect to transition Sparrow to a brand aligned with University of Michigan Health, we will ensure its legacy is appropriately honored.

What are the strategic priorities, values and goals of the combined organization going forward?

The mission, vision and values of the organizations are aligned with a common goal to deliver on the promise of clinical excellence in an accessible setting. Among the benefits are:

  • Expanded access to specialty and complex care to Lansing-area patients (in person and remotely);
    • An enduring collaboration model that preserves a local community-care focus;
    • Continued access to clinical research, trials and a forum for translational medicine for Sparrow patients;
    • Additional pathways to train, access and recruit the highest echelon of students and residents;
    • Strengthened ability for University of Michigan Health to provide quality health care in communities beyond southeast Michigan, expanding its mission as a statewide referral site for the most critically ill; and
    • Advanced clinical care and health equity for under-served patient populations through research and education and by ensuring a caring, respectful, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of patients, caregivers and the community.

How does Sparrow fit into the go-forward leadership structure of the combined organization?

Sparrow CEO James Dover now reports to Dr. Marschall Runge, Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs and CEO of Michigan Medicine and Dean of the University of Michigan Medical School. In addition to the current leadership structures, interim Integration Leaders have been identified from U-M Health, Sparrow and U-M Health West to help guide the integration planning and prioritization activities.