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      Marquette General and Bell Hospital are partners

      The Superior Health Partners Board of Trustees took its first official action Tuesday night, signing the formal affiliation agreement between Marquette General Hospital and Bell Hospital, electing board officers and outlining initial priorities.

      Formal affiliation between the two hospitals went into effect Thursday. The long-term mission of SHP is to redefine health care delivery in the region.

      The legal documents forming the affiliation were signed at the SHP Board TMs first official meeting, which was held at Bell. In addition, SHP Board officers were elected and SHP strategic plan priorities formally established.

      Elected SHP Board officers include: SHP Board Chairman Tim Larson; Vice Chairman Robert Dellangello, MD; and Secretary/Treasurer Ron Katers. A. Gary Muller, FACHE, was officially named by the Board as SHP President/CEO. He rounds out the slate of board officers. The newly elected officers bring extensive professional, volunteer and health care experience that will help guide the strategic plan of SHP.

      With the legal documents signed, our new board officers in place, and our strategic plan outlined, we can move forward with plans to create an Accountable Care Organization which relies on close hospital partnerships, collaborative alignment with physicians, robust information technology infrastructure, and operational expense management, said Larson, who also serves as Marquette General Health System Board chairman.

      Katers is a veteran Bell Board of Trustees member and past president, as is DellAngello. Muller has served as MGHS President and CEO since 2007.

      Other SHP Board members include John Jilbert, MaryAnne Shannon, Ph.D., RN, and Les Wong, Ph.D.

      Bell Hospital President/CEO Rick Ament explained that while the Federal government TMs final verdict on health care reform is still unknown, the health care industry is moving toward the Accountable Care Organization model. This model, according to Ament, relies on partnerships between health care providers to reduce health care costs while maintaining or improving quality of care. Successful ACOs will be rewarded financially, providing additional resources to invest in technology, jobs, and other improvements in the delivery of care.

      Muller said, It TMs the goal of SHP to build an Accountable Care Organization that can serve the entire Upper Peninsula. The partnership between Marquette General and Bell, and the potential for other hospitals to join SHP, puts our region way ahead of the curve both from a statewide and national perspective. It is impossible to over emphasize the importance of our planning on improving regional health care quality and access, as well as strengthening the incredible health care economic engine health care represents in the U.P.

      Muller added that key to initial SHP success will be physician recruitment.

      He said, By enhancing physician recruitment efforts, the number of services and specialties available will be greatly increased, and patients will have access to more services in the Upper Peninsula. That, in turn, means more jobs for U.P. residents. There is an old saying in the U.P. that our region TMs best export is our youth. Health care is creating the types of jobs that we hope will eventually render that old saying obsolete.

      With more than 3,000 employees under its combined MGH-Bell umbrella, Superior Health Partners is a strategic partnership between Marquette General and Bell Hospital designed to support and create health care jobs and improve access to high-quality health care treatments and services in the Upper Peninsula. Superior Health Partners will soon occupy office space in 101 South Front Street, the historic Savings Bank Building in downtown Marquette.

      Other hospitals that may be interested in working together as part of Superior Health Partners in the future would share in the commitment to superior levels of health care quality and efficiency.