Health Care

Health system partners with hospital

June 8, 2016
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Kalamazoo-based Borgess Medical Center is the flagship hospital of the Borgess Health system. Courtesy Borgess Health

A health system and hospital in the region have signed a partnership agreement.

The partnership between Borgess Health in Kalamazoo and Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, east of Battle Creek, will “expand access to high quality, safe health care for the community.”

The partnership is effective immediately and formalizes an established relationship between the organizations, whereby Borgess-affiliated emergency physicians and some Borgess specialty physicians provide services to patients at Oaklawn Hospital.

The new agreement will benefit patients by providing better access to more types of care and broadening services geographically.

The organizations said they’re not merging, but will collaborate through an oversight committee made up of an equal number of individuals from each organization.

The committee will evaluate strategic initiatives to improve access to care for individuals across the area and make recommendations to a board of managers consisting of the CEO of each organization, who will share decision-making responsibility.

Kathy Young, president and CEO of Borgess Health, said the “forward-thinking” collaboration will help the organizations improve health care services and access.

“Our ability to deliver safe, high-quality care and enhance the patient experience for the individuals we serve across the region is enhanced by working more closely with the caregivers and physicians of Oaklawn Hospital,” Young said.

Ginger Williams, president and CEO of Oaklawn Hospital, said she’s “excited” about the expanded relationship between the organizations.

Borgess Health is part of Ascension, a Catholic health system and one of the largest faith-based nonprofit health systems in the country.

Gwen MacKenzie, SVP for Ascension Health/Michigan Ministry Market Executive, said the health ministries of Ascension are building new relationships and partnerships across Michigan with physicians and other providers of care to improve access to a wide scope of services.

“This agreement between Borgess and Oaklawn Hospital — like the creation in 2014 of Together Health Network by Ascension Michigan, the Michigan health ministries of Trinity Health and our thousands of physician partners — advances our goal of providing patients convenient, coordinated, comprehensive care across the continuum,” MacKenzie said.

Oaklawn’s service area includes Calhoun County and parts of Branch and Eaton counties, with a medical staff of more than 150 providers representing more than 35 specialties.

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