Health system partners with hospital


Holland Hospital serves communities in Ottawa and Allegan counties with its 189-bed main campus and off-site locations. Photo via

Two West Michigan health care providers are looking into streamlining patient care by working together to create and implement services across both systems.

Holland Hospital, the 189-bed main campus hospital serving the West Michigan lakeshore area, and Spectrum Health, the West Michigan-based nonprofit health system, are formally developing a Forum for Hospital Collaboration. The forum is meant to foster collaborative strategies and initiatives between the two health care providers, and result in providing added benefits for families, individuals and local businesses along the lakeshore.

Richard Breon, president and CEO for Spectrum Health, said the organization has a long history of working with Holland Hospital to care for lakeshore patients.

“These new collaborative efforts will further increase the value of health care services provided throughout the lakeshore area, by demonstrating higher quality, improved cost efficiency, greater access and enhanced patient satisfaction,” said Breon in a written statement.

Dale Sowders, president and CEO of Holland Hospital, said the collaboration is a formal effort for the two organizations to agree on how to manage across systems, across specialties and across employment lines.

“There are a number of physicians right here on the lakeshore who are in and who have been in the Spectrum Health Medical Group,” said Sowders. “To the extent that we operate in several silos, really the patient is the one who lands in the middle. Delivery systems of the future need to be coordinated, and there isn’t really the opportunity to efficiently coordinate and communicate.”

Holland Hospital and Spectrum Health have worked together in the past on numerous initiatives, including the establishment of the Lakeshore Area Radiation Oncology Center, Lakeshore HMO, and the Holland Community Health Center; rehabilitation services provided at Spectrum Health’s Zeeland Community Hospital; and the development of the Spectrum Health Heart and Vascular Center located at Holland Hospital.

The building located on the Holland Hospital campus will be leased by Spectrum Health for its cardiology specialists to streamline comprehensive care for their patients. According to Sowders, an example of an area in which the Forum for Hospital Collaboration could focus would be looking at the next step of care coordination for the Spectrum Health Heart and Vascular Center in conjunction with Holland Hospital.

“In general, if you look at health care across the country, there is a clamoring to add scale. So there are large mergers and consolidations, and we are seeing that here in Michigan,” said Sowders. “We happen to think if we focus on Allegan, Ottawa and Kent (counties) … we think we have a better chance of understanding what they need and designing the delivery system accordingly.”

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