Beaumont-Spectrum Health reverses course on halting ‘medically necessary’ abortions
Michigan’s largest health system will continue to provide abortions when medically necessary despite earlier statements indicating its hospitals would follow the legal guidance of a 1931 state law that virtually bans all abortions outright. Beaumont-Spectrum Health (BHBS) announced Friday that it will follow the decades-old ban to the letter despite the fact the law has an injunction placed upon it, meaning abortion is still legal in Michigan for the time being. “We continue to believe that these decisions are both personal and private and best made between a woman and her physician. In 2021, the entire BHSH System performed approximately 60 therapeutic, medically necessary abortions that required hospital level care,” the statement read, in part. We continue to provide care for women’s health, including reproductive needs.mlive.com
Michigan’s largest hospital group onboards new chief diversity officer
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The recently merged Beaumont Health Spectrum Health System hired a new chief inclusion, equity, diversity and sustainability officer. Carlos Cubia, a former health executive, will lead the DEI effort at Michigan’s largest healthcare system, according to a June 20 news release. “We know that if we are to succeed in helping people live healthier, happier lives, we must create a culture in which DE&I and health equity are at the center. Since 2017, he led the development of a diversity and inclusion strategy for 400,000 employees across 17 countries, a news release from BHSH System said. Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health merged and launched a combined health system on Feb. 1.mlive.com
Spectrum Health to invest $19M to launch nurse education partnership with GVSU
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A newly launched health system by Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health will invest $19 million to launch a nursing education partnership with Grand Valley State University. The BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan Nurse Scholar program is being created to address a “severe talent shortage in nursing,” according to a news release. It aims to address the talent shortage by removing financial barriers to college and creating a smoother path to employment at Spectrum Health. “This program is a huge leap forward and a model for other high need fields.”Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health launched their new, combined health system on Feb. 1. The new health system has more than 64,000 employees, including more than 11,500 physicians and more than 15,000 nurses, as well as 22 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient locations.mlive.com
No layoffs planned as Spectrum-Beaumont Health merger completed, executive says
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spectrum Health and Southfield-based Beaumont Health say they have completed their merger, first announced in June, and are set to begin operating as a unified health system on Tuesday, Feb. 1. The new health system will have offices in Grand Rapids and Southfield, and will be led by Tina Freese Decker, who has served as Spectrum’s president and CEO since September 2018. It will have more than 64,000 employees, 22 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient locations. The new health system will temporarily be known as BHSH System.mlive.com
Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health to launch new health system Feb. 1
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health say they will launch a new, combined health system on Feb. 1. Related: Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health explore merger to create massive systemTina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health, will lead the new health system, which is temporarily being called BHSH System. “As we launch our new health system, we have a bold goal to transform health and are thrilled to unite our two great organizations. Leaders from Spectrum and Beaumont are slated to discuss the new health system at a 1 p.m. news conference. Read more:Former Spectrum Health CFO sees ‘potential for massive financial loss’ in Beaumont merger52-unit, income-restricted apartment building planned for Grand Rapids neighborhoodWhat you need to know about the Michigan International Auto Show returning to Grand Rapidsmlive.com
Spectrum Health to invest $151 million, build three new West Michigan buildings
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spectrum Health on Thursday announced it will invest $151 million to build three, new patient care buildings in West Michigan, including an 11-story ambulatory care center on the Medical Mile in downtown Grand Rapids. “Providing our communities with care that is high-quality and convenient, particularly for outpatient services, is essential to helping people live healthier lives,” Tina Freese Decker, president & CEO of Spectrum, said in a statement. The building currently at the site, Spectrum’s Cook Institute building, will be demolished to make way for the new structure. The 15,800 square foot building will house Spectrum’s Lakeview Family Medicine practice, as well as outpatient rehabilitation, a walk-in clinic, and specialty care services. Read more:Proposed affordable housing development in Grand Rapids will require zoning changesWhitmer creates new state office to direct spending from federal infrastructure lawVehicle involved in fatal I-94 hit-and-run could show up at an autobody shop, police saymlive.com
Spectrum, Beaumont Health merger delayed by ‘surge’ in Federal Trade Commission filings
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A proposed merger between Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health is not expected to be completed this fall as originally expected. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which must review the merger, “is experiencing a surge in filings across all industries and will take longer than originally anticipated to review” the proposed merger, according to a Sept. 24 joint statement from the two health systems. It would combine two of the largest health systems in the state, with the newly created health system employing more than 64,000 people and generating an estimated $13 billion in revenue. Freese Decker would have offices in Grand Rapids and Southfield, with leadership teams in both communities. Read more:New minibar helps Grand Rapids Brewing Company tap into social districtsVolunteers sought to plant 250 trees on Grand Rapids’ South SideHealth officials call for school mask mandate in Michigan amidst ‘protest mobs,’ bullyingmlive.com
Spectrum, Beaumont Health take next step in planned merger
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Leaders at Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have taken the next step toward creating a new health system. “Both Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have rich histories with compassionate, high-quality and dedicated health care professionals.”Officials with Spectrum were not immediately available for an interview Thursday. Related: Former Spectrum Health CEO sees ‘potential massive financial loss’ in Beaumont merger“We are very pleased to be making important progress toward launching our new health system,” Beaumont Health Board Chair Julie Fream said in a statement. “Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health each have strong legacies of service. Improving health care quality, value and outcomes: Creating a new health system, which includes Priority Health, will allow for the development of and investment in innovative solutions that improve health care and coverage for all Michiganders.mlive.com
Spectrum Health, Ascension Borgess to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for all employees
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spectrum Health, a Grand Rapids-based health system with 31,000 employees and 14 hospitals, says it will require all staff, volunteers and contractors to take the COVID-19 vaccine. “As a mission-driven organization, we are here to improve health, inspire hope and save lives,” Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said in a statement. The health system says the mandate will go into effect eight weeks after the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage people to be vaccinated, in consultation with their physician’s advice.”Freese Decker said requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is similar to prior decisions made by Spectrum to mandate the flu vaccine. “We are applying the same logic to the COVID-19 vaccine as we did in requiring the flu and other vaccines.mlive.com
Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health merger will likely ‘sail through’ approval, professor says
Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health and Southfield-based Beaumont Health announced Thursday that they’ve signed a letter of intent to explore creating a new health care system that would include more than 64,000 employees and roughly $13 billion in revenue. RELATED: Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health explore merger to create massive systemSpectrum President and CEO Tina Freese Decker would serve as president and CEO of the new health system, which would be led by a 16-member board of directors and is temporarily being called the BHSH System. Hospital system mergers typically receive more intense scrutiny by state and federal regulatory agencies than other kinds of mergers, said UM’s Gordon. What’s new about the proposed Spectrum and Beaumont merger is the size of the two institutions. Spectrum and Beaumont have told the state attorney general’s office about the proposed merger, Freese Decker said.mlive.com
Job losses not expected in proposed Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health merger
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The proposed merger of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health is not expected to result in job cuts or building closures “at this time,” Spectrum President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said in a press conference Thursday. “We are excited about the opportunity to bring together Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health,” Freese Decker said. Now that the two health systems have signed the letter of intent, officials are engaged in due diligence and integration planning. “In addition, Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health operate in distinct markets with no market overlap. A final name would be chosen following the completion of the merger, which could close this fall following regulatory approvals, Freese Decker said.mlive.com
Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health explore merger to create massive system
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Two of Michigan’s largest health systems are exploring a merger. Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health and Southfield-based Beaumont Health announced Thursday that they’ve signed a letter of intent to explore creating a new health care system that would include more than 64,000 employees and roughly $13 billion in revenue. He will assist during the integration process but at the close he will be leaving.”The new health system would be massive. Beaumont Health has faced financial challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and has explored unsuccessful mergers in the past. The 16-member BHSH System board would include seven seats appointed by Beaumont Health and seven seats appointed by Spectrum Health.mlive.com
Spectrum Health pledging $300,000 to violence reduction program planned for Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Spectrum Health is pledging $300,000 toward a violence reduction program that could be coming to Grand Rapids soon, providing city officials give an approving nod next week. Spectrum Health announced the monetary pledge Friday, April 23 toward Cure Violence. Grand Rapids City commissioners on Tuesday, April 27, are expected to consider a contract with Cure Violence Global, a program that uses trained workers, both outreach staff and “violence interrupters,” to help curb violence. Three main goals are as follows:Detecting and interrupting the transmission of violence – anticipate where violence may occur and intervene before it erupts. Changing community norms – influence social norms to discourage the use of violence.mlive.com
Spectrum Health officials hopeful latest COVID-19 surge has peaked
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at Spectrum Health remain high, but officials say they’re hopeful the surge peaked last weekend and is now leveling off. “It’s been a very rapid uptick,” said Darryl Elmouchi, president of Spectrum Health West Michigan. “Much quicker than we saw during the surge in the winter.”Also different from previous surges: the average age of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. “This is almost a decade younger than they were during the last surge and 15 percent of the people hospitalized in Spectrum Health with COVID-19 are under the age of 40.”Spectrum officials also say the latest surge is hitting children harder. As of today, there are 10 patients at the children’s hospital with COVID-19 symptoms, five of whom are in the intensive care unit, Marandi said.mlive.com
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital marks 10-year anniversary of ‘big blue building’ on Medical Mile
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is celebrating 10 years at its landmark blue building on Michigan Street along Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile. It’s named after the late Helen DeVos, the West Michigan philanthropist and wife of the late Amway co-founder Rich DeVos. In 1990, hospital leaders and donors pledged $44 million to build the Helen DeVos Women & Children’s Center at Butterworth Hospital. The center, essentially a hospital within a hospital, opened in September 1993, bringing together an assortment of services in one area. Having a dedicated children’s hospital building also helps with the recruitment of pediatric physicians and specialists, he said.mlive.com
Staffing, not bed capacity, is the real problem as Michigan hospitals face coronavirus surge
Hospital executives across Michigan are ringing alarms about the steep and rapid increase in coronavirus patients in recent days, saying the numbers threaten to overwhelm their health-care systems. On Oct. 1, there were 693 people hospitalized with coronavirus statewide, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It appears hospital employees are relatively safe at work and infection rates among hospital staff are generally lower than those in the community, hospital executives say. Looking at hospital staff who have tested positive, “the vast, vast majority” are being infected outside the hospital, said Ed Ness, head of Munson Healthcare in Traverse City. “It’s a lot of wear and tear on hospital staff,” she said.mlive.com
COVID-19 exhaustion at Michigan hospitals: ‘We got through first surge on adrenaline, now it’s a marathon’
Michigan hospital leaders are worried about health care workers becoming exhausted by eight months of battling COVID-19 as hospitals start to fill up with patients once again. As state officials announce 6,000 new COVID-19 cases daily in Michigan, hospitalizations are starting to trend in wrong direction. During a virtual discussion with the presidents and CEOS of major Michigan health systems, the most pressing concern isn’t space, but staff availability. “It may not be access to a facility need, it may actually be staffing,” Decker said. So that has clearly been our top concern.”LOCAL: Macomb County a ‘pocket’ of Michigan that struggles with mask wearing, Henry Ford Health CEO says
Macomb County a ‘pocket’ of Michigan that struggles with mask wearing, Henry Ford Health CEO says
The president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System said Macomb County is a “pocket” of Michigan that struggles with COVID-19 mask compliance. Wright Lassiter spoke about the importance of following COVID-19 safety protocols during a virtual panel conversation among Michigan hospital leaders. He said while most people in the state wear masks, there are “pockets” where compliance isn’t up to par. “I would say that while we do see mask usage in many places, there are pockets where there is not good compliance,” Lassiter said. “In the Henry Ford system, our Henry Ford Macomb Hospital has the highest volume by far.
Hospital association CEO: Michiganders who don’t believe in COVID-19 protocols aren’t going to follow them
The head of the hospital association in Michigan said one of the main problems with the spread of COVID-19 statewide is that people aren’t convinced certain safety measures are necessarily, so they aren’t going to follow them. Brian Peters, the CEO of the Michigan Heath and Hospital Association, joined top hospital officials Thursday for a virtual discussion about the state of Michigan’s COVID-19 pandemic. Yet Michigan is still seeing its largest spike in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with case totals and test positivity rates rising statewide. LOCAL: Macomb County a ‘pocket’ of Michigan that struggles with mask wearing, Henry Ford Health CEO saysHe compared COVID-19 protocols to wearing seat belts on the road, saying people won’t follow rules unless they genuinely believe they are saving lives. He and Beaumont Health president and CEO John Fox both said visitors have even resisted simple COVID-19 safety measures while physically inside hospitals.
Michigan hospitals don’t plan to shut down elective surgeries again, but it’s a possible last resort
As the number of Michiganders hospitalized with COVID-19 rises again, hospitals aren’t planning to shut down elective surgeries. But if the health care system gets overwhelmed, that might be a measure of last resort. Most importantly, health care workers don’t want Michiganders to have to delay necessary care. While all the hospital leaders agreed they don’t want to shut down elective procedures, it’s possible the spread of COVID-19 could reach a point where that’s the only option. That means Michigan hospitals won’t easily be able to transfer patients elsewhere if they reach capacity in terms of space or workers.
West Michigan hospitals know the virus better now, but do they have enough staff for another surge?
Coronavirus hospitalizations are trending upwards across West Michigan, and healthcare professionals are bracing for even more patients in the coming weeks. Spectrum Health, Mercy Health and Bronson Healthcare have all hit record highs for coronavirus patients. As of Thursday, Spectrum Health had reported 287 coronavirus patients across its healthcare system. West Michigan patients made up more than half of Mercy Health’s patient intake across eight hospitals statewide. Across the healthcare system, 79 confirmed coronavirus patients were being cared for, spread across Bronson’s four hospitals.mlive.com
Here’s where COVID-19 positivity rate, ICU capacity stand in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is seeing its most rapid spread of COVID-19, and hospitals are trying to keep up without the same resources as the more populated areas of the state. Gar Atchison, the CEO of UP Health System-Marquette and market CEO of UP Health System, joined a discussion among state hospital system leaders Thursday to talk about how COVID-19 is being handled in the Upper Peninsula. “We are seeing some pretty rapid increases, some pretty alarming case rates.”Some hospitals and testing centers in the Upper Peninsula are seeing test positivity rates of 30% multiple days in a row, Atchison said. UP Health System-Marquette is the safety net hospital for the Upper Peninsula, so what happens when the region hits capacity is a major concern for Atchison. ICU capacity outside of Marquette is fairly limited, so that’s the number that I’m paying most attention to.”He said 61% of patients in ICU beds in the Upper Peninsula are COVID-19 patients.
What is the level of concern about Michigan hospitals getting overwhelmed again due to COVID-19?
Michigan’s top health officials are concerned about hospitals becoming overwhelmed again as the COVID-19 numbers across the state reach new levels. Early in the-19 pandemic, one of the major problems for Michigan was hospital capacity, as COVID-19 patients filled beds and the state was forced to set up alternate sites. “That’s one of the general concerns,” said Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. Decker said another concern is staff members who have been fighting COVID-19 for the better part of eight months. LOCAL: Macomb County a ‘pocket’ of Michigan that struggles with mask wearing, Henry Ford Health CEO says“Our team -- they’ve been dealing with this for a very long time, so they are tired,” Decker said.
Henry Ford Health CEO: If ration, science aren’t enough in COVID-19 fight, other steps may be needed
The president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System wants Michiganders to follow the simple safety measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, but if they can’t, he said other steps might be necessary. “If doing the right thing and using ration and science isn’t sufficient, then there may be other steps that end up being necessary,” said Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. LOCAL: Macomb County a ‘pocket’ of Michigan that struggles with mask wearing, Henry Ford Health CEO saysThey said Michiganders should just follow four simple rules: Wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid large gatherings. Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, during a COVID-19 discussion on Nov. 12, 2020. MORE: Hospital association CEO: Michiganders who don’t believe in COVID-19 protocols aren’t going to follow themLassiter said a broad-based shutdown of the state likely would not be effective.
Are stricter government COVID-19 rules inevitable as cases spike in Michigan? Top hospital officials weigh in
As COVID-19 trends worsen dramatically across Michigan, are stricter government regulations inevitable? The presidents and CEOS of Henry Ford Health System, Beaumont Health, Spectrum Health, Munson Healthcare and UP Health System-Marquette joined the discussion to highlight the alarming trajectory of COVID-19 numbers statewide. John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health, said the tools to slow the spread of COVID-19 are already in place. LOCAL: Macomb County a ‘pocket’ of Michigan that struggles with mask wearing, Henry Ford Health CEO says“The tools to control it are there. MORE: Hospital association CEO: Michiganders who don’t believe in COVID-19 protocols aren’t going to follow them“They’ve been much more targeted, where government did intervene,” Anderson said.
Leaders from 4 major hospital systems in Michigan share harrowing COVID-19 numbers
Leaders from four major hospital systems in Michigan came together Thursday to share the alarming trends they’re seeing as COVID-19 cases increase drastically statewide. “Our state is now in a phase of exponential increases in both COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations,” said Gerry Anderson, executive chairman at DTE Energy and a member of Gov. “Over the last five weeks, cases in Michigan are up more than five-fold,” Anderson said. Leaders of Henry Ford Health System, Beaumont Health, Spectrum Health and Munson Health shared some of the COVID-19 trends they’re seeing in their hospitals. Henry Ford Health SystemThe story is the same in Henry Ford hospitals, according to Wright Lassiter, the president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System.
‘The health care system can capsize’: Michigan hospitals rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients
Michigan hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients once again, and experts are warning residents that if this trend continues, it will be disastrous for the state’s health care system. The MHA represents all the hospitals and health systems throughout Michigan. “Our hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients at a very alarming rate,” Peters said. He and other state health care leaders are concerned about what’s ahead for hospitals if the trends don’t reverse. The health care system can capsize if you don’t keep it under control.”
Michigan hospital leaders call on residents to heed COVID warnings as cases, deaths surge
Leaders from several of Michigan’s largest hospitals systems are gathered in a virtual news conference Thursday morning as they call on residents to heed warnings about the surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state. “In the last week, Michigan has seen a historic and increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. This has resulted in increased hospitalizations and pressure on our health care infrastructure across the state. New COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan. View more: Michigan COVID-19 dataMichigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 5,040 on Tuesday, the highest it has ever been.
West Michigan’s Spectrum Health says hospitals near capacity amid COVID surge
West Michigan’s largest hospital system says they could be hitting their maximum capacity “in a matter of days,” as new COVID-19 cases and deaths rise across the state. Spectrum Health said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday that they are working to expand intensive care capacity and to create more space for COVID-19 patients. “Even with these actions, the reality is that Spectrum Health and our hospitals across the state will be hitting their capacity in a matter of days,” Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said, according to WOOD TV. Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, the president of Spectrum Health West, added that Spectrum will be prioritizing those with symptoms when providing COVID-19 tests. New COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan.
Spectrum Health days away from hitting capacity as coronavirus rages in West Michigan
“We are facing some of the most daunting and demanding challenges since this pandemic began,” Tina Freese Decker told reporters in an online press conference. But even with those measures in place, Freese Decker warned that the situation is dire. “The reality is that Spectrum Health and our hospitals across the state will be hitting their capacity in a matter of days, and so we must change this trajectory of community spread,” she said. Hospitalizations for the deadly, infectious respiratory disease have tripled in the past 20 days and are eight times higher than in September, Freese Decker said. A question about what Spectrum’s capacity is for more coronavirus patients was not answered by Freese Decker and other hospital officials participating in the press conference.mlive.com