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      Portage Health and LifePoint Hospitals hear public input on partnership

      Portage Health held a community forum Monday evening as requested by the Attorney General of Michigan to seek public input about its partnership with LifePoint Hospitals.

      Most people voiced questions about how the new Portage Health Foundation would be operated and concerns about maintaining quality, affordable health care.

      The $60 million agreement will give LifePoint Hospitals 80 percent governance over the hospital and assets.

      LifePoint officials say many small hospitals are increasingly becoming concerned with changes in health care.

      â??Many communities across the country are looking for a strong partner to help them deal with all of the changes that they're seeing, and we think LifePoint Hospitals presents a great partner, a great resource to help them navigate through all of the change that's coming,â?? said Chairman and CEO of LifePoint Hospitals Bill Carpenter.

      Portage Health officials say the venture will help to expand and enhance its services to better meet the health care needs of its communities.