Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health Merger: For Michigan, by Michigan

The+OUWB+School+of+Medicine+in+the+heart+of+campus%2C+Elliott+Tower+overlooking+everything+in+the+background.

Noora Neiroukh

The OUWB School of Medicine in the heart of campus, Elliott Tower overlooking everything in the background.

Gabrielle Abdelmessih, Campus Editor

Two of the largest health systems in Michigan, Southfield-based Beaumont Health and Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health, recently announced they have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to explore merging the two health systems, resulting in the creation of a new one that is for Michigan, by Michigan.

In a Beaumont press release, Beaumont Health Board chair Julie Fream said, “As health care continues to evolve, there are a number of factors that proactive health systems must consider as they plan for the future. 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 LOI also highlighted goals that Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health have for the merger, which include improving health and health equity, enhancing the consumer experience, improving health care quality, making health care more affordable for the communities they serve and ensuring the voices of team members and physicians are heard.

If the merger occurs, the newly created 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, according to the Beaumont press release. Additionally, dual headquarters will be operated in Southfield and Grand Rapids, with President & CEO and senior executive leadership team spending time in both locations.

“Our organizations share complementary strengths in areas such as quality and have similar missions, visions and values,” Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox said in the press release. “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.”

It is important to point out that discussions surrounding the merger are ongoing and that there will be no immediate changes occurring in both systems. Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health plan on completing the process by the fall.

Dr. Duane Mezwa, dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, shared his perspective on what the potential merger could mean for OUWB.

“I think that in three different areas there are going to be potential opportunities [for OUWB] should the merge happen: education, research, and philanthropy,” Mezwa said. “I think in those three areas we certainly have possibilities for new opportunities and growth.”

Dr. Mezwa discussed potential enhanced opportunities for OUWB students to learn from the strong expertise that Spectrum Health has in surgical subspecialties, the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, bone marrow transplants, as well as CAR-T therapy. He also underscored the combined possibility of Beaumont Health and Spectrum in strengthening research opportunities and applying for grants, as well as in expanding philanthropic efforts.

“I see this as a tremendous future opportunity,” Mezwa said.

For more information and updates regarding the merger, please visit https://formichiganbymichigan.org/