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Metro Health and University of Michigan Health System finalize affiliation

BY Thursday, December 15, 2016 01:03pm

Metro Health and the University of Michigan Health System say they’ve reached a final affiliation agreement.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, although documents previously filed with the state for a certificate-of-need review indicated that U-M Health System would assume full control of Metro Health as the sole corporate owner.

An announcement of the deal this morning said that “Metro Health and the University of Michigan will embark on an affiliation that builds upon the strengths of the world-class U-M academic medical center and a very successful community-based health system.”

“This is a transformational day for health care in west Michigan,” Metro Health President and CEO Michael Faas said in a statement. “Our affiliation with the University of Michigan will help ensure our patients and the people of west Michigan continue to have access to great quality care and choice when they consider their health care needs. U-M and Metro Health doctors will work alongside each other to provide the latest, most advanced and most innovative care to patients.”

The two health systems signed a letter in June to affiliate and approved a definitive agreement in two months later with the expectation that a final deal would come by the end of the year.

Affiliating with the U-M Health System gives Metro Health, which relocated to a new hospital in suburban Wyoming less than a decade ago, scale and the access to expertise and capital needed for breaking out of the shadows of its larger competitors in Grand Rapids. Metro can “further expand its research capabilities, primary care and specialty services, as well as use of complex medical technology,” today’s announcement stated.

“Truly, today marks the beginning of a new chapter in Metro Health’s history – one that builds on the incredible legacy which began in 1942 when 23 osteopathic physicians opened Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital,” Faas said. “I can think of no better way to honor our founders than to ensure Metro Health is able to grow and continue serving patients for years to come.”

U-M Health System in return will get a much larger physical presence in the West Michigan market, where it has partnered since 2009 with Metro Health on a radiation oncology center at the Metro Health Village in Wyoming. U-M Health System also provides pediatric cardiology and pediatric endocrinology care at Metro Health.

“Our ability to work together in other areas paved the way for this affiliation,” said Marschall Runge, CEO of the U-M Health System. “We are excited to further expand U-M services in west Michigan and to provide access to the highest quality care available to more Michigan residents. Working together, we will improve the health of our patients and our communities.”

Metro Health includes the 208-bed Metro Health Hospital and a dozen outpatient and primary care centers in the Grand Rapids area.

U-M Health System consists of three hospitals, 40 outpatient locations and home care operations that handle more than 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.

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