The Alpena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) Board of Trustees announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent to affiliate with MidMichigan Health, an affiliate of the University of Michigan Health System. The ARMC board voted to begin negotiations toward a definitive agreement with MidMichigan Health during a special meeting held on Tuesday, October 13.
Merger activity within health care has been on the rise since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Given these trends and the continued pressures of health care reform and economic realities, health care leadership and boards cannot afford to sit on the sideline.
“This is a very exciting time for Alpena Regional Medical Center. The Letter of Intent initiates our formal discussions with MidMichigan Health to develop a relationship that will advance health care in our region,” said Eric Smith, board chairman of ARMC. “As the health care industry evolves, we need to do so as well. Together with MidMichigan Health and the University of Michigan Health System, we will best meet the changing health care needs of our community by enhancing local capabilities and services, and addressing key issues, such as population health.”
The Board goals focused on long-term viability of the Medical Center, improved access to resources, support for physician recruitment/retention, continued quality improvement and local and system-wide governance. This partnership encompasses all of these goals.
The health care organizations anticipate signing a definitive agreement by early 2016.
MidMichigan Health is a non-profit health system, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, affiliated with the University of Michigan Health System. MidMichigan covers a 15-county region with medical centers in Midland, Alma, Clare and Gladwin, as well as urgent care centers, home care, physicians, medical offices and other specialty health services. MidMichigan has more than 5,980 employees, volunteers and physicians and provided $81 million in community benefits in fiscal year 2014.
“Alpena Regional Medical Center’s interest in MidMichigan Health reflects the board’s keen insight into the dynamic changes that are taking place in the health care industry today,” said Bobbie Arnold, chair of the MidMichigan Health Board of Directors. “In 2013, MidMichigan Health affiliated with the University of Michigan Health System and this affiliation has augmented our health offerings and helped to make high-level tertiary clinical care more readily available for all those we serve. It is a privilege for the MidMichigan Health family to begin the next steps in this exciting collaboration.” ARMC is a 139 licensed-bed, governmental acute care hospital offering inpatient and outpatient healthcare services to a broad region, which includes 24-zip codes in Alpena, Alcona, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties. It is also designated as a Sole Community Hospital (“SCH”). The Hospital is organized under Public Act 230 of the Public Acts of 1987 as a county health facilities corporation. ARMC has approximately 1,000 employees, 200 volunteers and approximately 100 physicians.
“MidMichigan Health has a history of partnering well with others, said Diane Postler-Slattery, president and CEO of MidMichigan Health. We have four medical centers – in Midland, Clare, Gladwin and Alma - that are the cornerstone of our health system. Our track record of recognizing and responding to the needs of our communities is what has made us a success. And, of course, this could not be possible without high quality physicians and employees, as well as good stewardship from our board of directors. We are experienced and well positioned to embrace the addition of Alpena as a member of our health system family.”
“Our focus has been and will always remain the same - putting our patient first. Aligning with MidMichigan Health and the University of Michigan Health System will ensure that we continue to maintain and improve our Patient First Culture.” said Smith. “Access to health care is an important consideration when choosing where to live and/or in the location of an industry – a health care system will assure that our hospital remains here for all of our community members. It’s about expanding our services and expertise so that our community receives only the best in health care. It is what they deserve.”