Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health announce merger

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Spectrum Health's Butterworth Hospital Courtesy Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health announced Thursday that they have signed a letter of intent to explore merging into a new health system.

Leaders from Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health believe creating a new Michigan-based health system will build a stronger future that provides more accessible, affordable and equitable health care and coverage for people across the state.

Priority Health, Spectrum Health’s Michigan-based health plan, also will be part of the new system.

Tina Freese Decker Courtesy Spectrum Health

“Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health are leaders in our respective markets, and by bringing together our organizations to create a new system, we have the opportunity to deliver greater value in high-quality and affordable health care to our communities,” Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said. “Together, we can provide a more personalized experience that prioritizes individuals’ health while also attracting and retaining great talent to our vibrant communities.”

“As health care continues to evolve, there are a number of factors that proactive health systems must consider as they plan for the future,” said Julie Fream, Beaumont Health board chair. “Beaumont Health has found a great Michigan partner in Spectrum Health, and together, we are uniquely positioned for success. As a new organization, we will provide Michiganders an enhanced, high-quality health care and coverage network built for them.”

The temporary legal name of the new organization will be BHSH System. There will be no immediate changes to the Spectrum and Beaumont brands. Those names will remain in their local markets pending adoption of the overall branding plan by the system board. The new BHSH system will work together to determine a path forward that honors both legacy brands and will engage physicians, team members, donors and the community in that process.

The new organization will be governed by a new systemwide board of directors. The 16-member board will include seven seats appointed by Beaumont Health, seven seats appointed by Spectrum Health, the president and CEO of the new system, and a new board member to be appointed following the creation of the new system. The board will include at least three physicians.

Freese Decker will lead the new health system, and Fream will be the first board chair. John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health, will help ensure a successful transition to the new health system. Following this transition, he plans to leave the organization. A thorough process will be developed to identify and select the BHSH Beaumont Health president.

“Our organizations share complementary strengths in areas such as quality and have similar missions, visions and values,” Fox said. “We also both have deep relationships in our communities that are built upon providing excellent care and service. Together, we can leverage both of our strengths to further our focus on providing exceptional care for our communities.”

The new organization will operate 22 hospitals and 305 outpatient locations with more than 64,000 team members, including more than 7,500 affiliated, independent and employed physicians; more than 3,000 affiliated, independent and employed advanced practice providers; and more than 15,000 nurses. No closures or job losses are anticipated at this time.

The new system will operate dual headquarters in Grand Rapids and Southfield, and the president and CEO and senior executive leadership team will spend time on both sides of the state.

Local fiduciary boards with committed community board members will remain in place to provide governance and leadership to the BHSH Beaumont Health, BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan, BHSH Spectrum Health Lakeland and Priority Health divisions. Each board will retain local governance oversight over key areas unique to the communities they serve.

“Spectrum Health has a proven track record of successful integrations and partnerships that improve quality and access to care and coverage while maintaining important local relationships with physicians, donors and community members,” Spectrum Health board chair Robert Roth said. “Our ultimate focus is ensuring high-quality care for patients and members that is sustainable for today and tomorrow, and we are confident that creating a new system with Beaumont Health will achieve that goal.”

Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health hope to complete this process, which is subject to the execution of an integration agreement and applicable regulatory reviews, this fall.

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