MidMichigan Health Enters Affiliation Process with West Branch Regional Medical Center
MidMichigan Health has entered into an affiliation process with West Branch Regional Medical Center (WBRMC). The announcement comes after the WBRMC Board of Trustees voted on the selection of MidMichigan Health as the preferred health system to proceed with partnership negotiations. The decision, made during its Monday, Sept. 25, board meeting, named MidMichigan Health as the exclusive health system with which WBRMC will work to finalize an affiliation agreement.
“West Branch Regional Medical Center’s interest in MidMichigan Health is a reflection of the evolving landscape of the health care industry. Simply put, we will be stronger – together,” said Diane Postler-Slattery, president and CEO, MidMichigan Health. “Keeping the patients the focus of all that we do is the priority of both MidMichigan and West Branch Regional Medical Center. And, by working together, we will be able to help to increase service offerings to patients of northern Michigan, enhance technological capabilities and so much more. It is an honor for MidMichigan Health to begin the next steps of this exciting partnership.”
The affiliation process for WBRMC began in 2011. Since that time, the Medical Center in West Branch went from being a municipally owned facility to a nonprofit, completing that process on Dec. 31, 2015. Over the last two years, the board of trustees and management then evaluated partnership proposals, met with prospective suitors and visited facilities of the prospective partners. In making a selection, the Board goals included long term viability of the Medical Center, improved access to resources, support for physician recruitment and retention, continued quality improvement and local and system-wide governance.
“We feel we have much in common with MidMichigan in terms of our mission to provide quality health care services to improve the health status of the communities we serve," said Bob McGrail, CEO, WBRMC. “From quality and safety, patient experience, employee engagement, physician engagement and long-term sustainability, the rich and innovative history that we have made will be stronger than ever with MidMichigan Health.”
West Branch Regional Medical Center is part of the John Tolfree Health System, which includes Hospice of Helping Hands, the Tolfree Foundation, and Medical Arts Centers in Prudenville and West Branch. The Medical Center is an 88-bed acute care facility with four operating suites, as well as a 24-hour emergency department with 11 patient treatment areas. Located in Ogemaw County, the Medical Center serves a broad region, with 30 zip codes in Ogemaw, Oscoda, Roscommon, Arenac, Iosco and Gladwin Counties. West Branch Regional Medical Center has approximately 350 employees, 58 volunteers, 25 active staff physicians, as well as 12 associate staff physicians, 53 consulting staff physicians, 23 allied health professionals and 17 telemedicine physicians.
Affiliation details are expected to proceed and will be reviewed over the coming months.