Charlevoix Area Hospital to be part of Munson Healthcare System

Charlevoix Area Hospital, Munson Healthcare Reach Final Agreement

Charlevoix hospital will fully integrate into Munson Healthcare system

Charlevoix Area Hospital (CAH) and Munson Healthcare have approved an agreement under which Charlevoix Area Hospital will join Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital, Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital, Munson Medical Center, and Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital as fully integrated hospitals in the Munson Healthcare system.

The agreement also includes the outpatient clinics and medical practices owned and operated by Charlevoix Area Hospital in Boyne City, Charlevoix, and East Jordan.

“Following our announcement to explore a closer affiliation last summer, the CAH Board of Directors considered a range of options for deepening the relationship,” said Ruth Hoppe, M.D., chair of the Charlevoix Area Hospital Board of Directors. “We determined that having Munson Healthcare as our parent company is the most effective way to ensure ongoing hospital success in the changing health care environment.”

Hoppe said the challenges to providing high quality care in northern Michigan – a large rural population and significant geographic distances between communities – make it critical for health care providers to join forces and work together.

“The people who live, work, and play in northern Michigan deserve excellent, accessible and coordinated health care,” she said.

Charlevoix Area Hospital CEO Lyn Jenks said the agreement was a result of the hospital Board’s proactive and thoughtful evaluation of the strategies needed to ensure the hospital remains a successful provider and economic engine for the Charlevoix region. In the face of an uncertain economy, declining reimbursement, increased regulation, and unfunded mandates, many rural community hospitals face significant challenges.

“As Charlevoix County’s second largest employer, Charlevoix Area Hospital has been fortunate to remain viable through many of these changes,” said Lyn Jenks, CEO of Charlevoix Area Hospital. “However, it is time to take the next step to ensure sustainability for the next 100 years.  This is really an evolution of our long-standing partnership with Munson Healthcare and a positive, logical next step.”

Jenks said the hospital’s board and leadership are confident in their strategic direction and excited to partner with the Munson Healthcare system to further their plan for a sustainable, successful future.

Over the past several months, teams from both organizations have completed a thorough due diligence process to ensure that the new organizational structure will be as intended. This included a review of all pertinent information, financial records, real estate documents, equipment lists, building and grounds information, human resource information, and more.

During the coming weeks, these teams will continue work together to address needed steps to ensure a smooth transition, including seeking government approvals.

A closing date for the new structure and the beginning of combined operations has been set for December 1, 2015, pending regulatory approvals. At that time, the hospital’s name will change to Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital, reflecting the new level of collaboration and coordination with the health care system.

“Significant changes to our industry during the past four years make it imperative that we work more closely together to ensure the very best care, as close to home as possible for northern Michigan patients”, said Ed Ness, President and CEO of Munson Healthcare. “This agreement will allow us to fully collaborate on the realizing that vision.”

Charlevoix Area Hospital and Munson Healthcare have had a successful, long-standing partnership. A Rural Health Network agreement between Charlevoix Area Hospital and Munson Medical Center has been in place since 2004 and a 2012 regional affiliation agreement gave the hospital access to a broader range of services from Munson Healthcare.

It also created an ongoing conversation about how the two organizations could best work together to serve patients with local health care services.

Questions and comments from the community are valued and encouraged. In Charlevoix, call (231) 547-8685 or email to cfischl@cah.org. In Traverse City call(231) 935-2000 or email voicesandviews@mhc.net.  Updates will be shared online at cah.org/update.

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