Saint Joseph Mercy and Michigan Medicine Interested in Joint Venture

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Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan, today announced plans to establish a joint venture for the 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea hospital. Both organizations have signed a letter of intent launching a due diligence period during which final details of the joint venture will be determined.

“Michigan Medicine wants to partner with health care organizations that deliver high quality and high value," says Dr. David Spahlinger, president of the University of Michigan Health System, the clinical care unit of Michigan Medicine. “Saint Joseph Mercy Health System has a long-standing, positive reputation for delivering high-quality care to their communities. We look forward to working together on improving health care access and quality for the local community and the entire state."

With the signed letter of intent, the two organizations will begin working out the terms of a definitive agreement under which both SJMHS and Michigan Medicine will have an interest in St Joseph Mercy Chelsea. SJMHS will maintain control and will manage hospital operations, including appointing its leaders.

The joint venture allows two strong health systems to join forces and strengthen care delivery between the statewide network of Trinity Health's tertiary and health care facilities, and Michigan's premier center for highly specialized, complex care cases.  

"This emerging relationship is groundbreaking in Michigan, " says Rob Casalou, regional president and CEO of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. "Patient-centered collaboration is in the best interests of our communities. Together we can offer high-quality care locally and higher levels of specialized care when necessary."

Once approved, the potential agreement will expand the surgical procedures Michigan Medicine provides at the Chelsea hospital.  The agreement will also increase access to U-M physicians for patients in Chelsea and elsewhere in western Washtenaw County.  

"The planned joint venture expands upon years of successful collaboration between our two organizations with the inpatient family medicine teaching service and faculty practice on the St Joseph Mercy Chelsea campus," says Nancy Graebner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy in Chelsea. "This natural progression of our relationship will enhance our ability to provide a broader range of services jointly with Michigan Medicine." 

SJMC employs more than 1,200 individuals with a medical staff of approximately 500 physicians.

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