Mackinac Straits Health System and Munson Healthcare Sign Affiliation Agreement

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mackinac Straits Health System and Munson Healthcare have signed a regional affiliation agreement that gives the St. Ignace-based provider access to a broad range of Munson Healthcare system services.

The agreement does not change ownership or management of Mackinac Straits Health System, its clinics, facilities, or services. It remains a private, not for profit (501 C3), independent organization.

Through this affiliation, Mackinac Straits Health System sees an opportunity to increase services, improve resource use, reduce costs, and collaborate with a multi-hospital health system focused on rural northern Michigan. Leaders are investigating potential collaborations in both clinical and support areas, including information technology, laboratory, pathology, purchasing, and the development of subspecialty clinics.

Mackinac Straits Health System President and CEO Rodney Nelson said the agreement represents shared goals that focus on strengthening health care services in the Straits area, keeping services as close to home as possible, and improving the health of residents.

“Both organizations share a common set of cultural values and a focus on delivering high- quality health care services to our northern Michigan communities,” Nelson said. “With clinics in Cheboygan, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, and in St. Ignace, we know rural health care. We also know Munson Healthcare to be a respected, regional system that delivers sustainable, close to home services, to local people by local people. We are excited about this collaboration, which will allow us to provide enhanced services to our community, now and in the future.”

With eight other hospitals in the Munson Healthcare system, Mackinac Straits Health System expects to increase access to a wide array of medical specialists and other clinical and operational expertise. As a critical access hospital, Mackinac Straits Health System also will benefit from closer collaboration with other critical access hospitals in the Munson Healthcare system, including Charlevoix Area Hospital, Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, and Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort.

Munson Healthcare President and CEO Ed Ness noted that as the Munson Healthcare system evolves, it is focused on two priorities – preserving and improving local access to care, and developing a regional health care delivery system that meets patient needs.

“We believe all northern Michigan residents should receive care as close to home as possible, whichever side of the bridge they live on,” Ness said. “Our goal with this affiliation is to support Mackinac Straits Health System as it delivers high-quality local care. It also allows us to coordinate both of our efforts to ensure high-quality, patient-centered care across the region.”