Metro Health-UM Health restructures boards

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The new structure supports efficient and agile decision-making and reflects expanding clinical integration with Michigan Medicine, said Bill Barkeley, who will continue as chairperson. Courtesy Bill Barkeley

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health announced it is consolidating two governance boards into one to support its growing role as a leader of health care innovation.

The new structure supports efficient and agile decision-making and reflects expanding clinical integration with Michigan Medicine, said Bill Barkeley, who will continue as chairperson.

Barkeley added the new structure reinforces the local governance that shapes Metro Health’s vision for serving patients and the community.

“Metro Health always has looked to the future, seeking better ways to provide its patients with health care excellence,” Barkeley said. “With this restructuring, we are building on the legacy of our founding physicians and all the generations of board members who brought us to where we are today as we continue advancing health care.”

Previously, Metro Health was governed by a hospital board that reported up to a corporate board of directors — a structure that made sense before the organization’s affiliation with Michigan Medicine, said board member Laura Hopson.

Dr. Peter Hahn, CEO of Metro Health, saw an opportunity to streamline the governance process and honor Metro Health’s legacy of community-based and physician leadership to reflect the organization’s stature as a progressive, innovative health system. The boards of directors agreed, and work began last year on the restructuring.

Changes

The two separate boards with 23 members, some serving on both, were merged into a single board with 15 voting directors.

Voting roles are reserved for the medical chief of staff, as an ex-officio member, and for two physician representatives. At least one of the physicians must be an osteopathic physician, reflecting Metro Health’s history of being founded by DOs.

The bylaws have been amended to affirm Metro Health’s firm commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion “at every level within the organization, with staff and in service to patients.” This includes establishing a cadence for reporting to the board on DEI efforts.

The commitment to diversity extended to the nominating process for the new board. All directors submitted a demographic sheet covering age, gender, ethnicity and expertise. This information was considered by a nominating committee, which developed a final board slate that reflected multiple dimensions of diversity.

The board roster was approved by both the Metro Health Corporation and Hospital Boards on Oct. 13 and took effect Nov. 1. Barkeley, a former Steelcase executive and a deaf-blind adventurer who works with the nonprofit group No Barriers USA, retains the role of board chair. Vice chair is David Spahlinger, M.D., Michigan Medicine.

The directors and their affiliations are:

  • Bill Barkeley, No Barriers USA
  • Connie Bohatch, city of Grand Rapids
  • Bruce Courtade, Rhoades McKee
  • Scott Epstein, Davenport University
  • John Hendrickson, C&H Solutions LLC
  • Laura Hopson, EM Services LLC
  • Paul Kovack, DO, Metro Health-University of Metro Health
  • Cynthia McCurren, Grand Valley State University
  • Larry Robson, M.D., Vascular Surgeon
  • Carlos Sanchez, Grand Rapids Housing Commission
  • David Spahlinger, M.D., Michigan Medicine
  • Steve Van Andel, Amway
  • Quinta Vreede, Michigan Medicine
  • Timothy Williams, Meijer

Metro Health’s medical chief of staff, Matthew Sevensma, DO, will serve as an ex-officio member, as will Hahn, who thanked all board members for their deliberate and constructive approach to the restructuring.

“I especially want to thank those board members who will be retiring,” Hahn said. “Their strategic leadership, dedication and belief in Metro Health have set the stage for greater things to come. We owe our status as a progressive leader in health care to their foundational work.”

Departing board members include Michelle Anderson, M.D.; Kevin Furlong, DO; Paul Gauthier, DO; Todd Hartgerink, DO; John Keller, M.D.; and Victor Vasquez.

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