BCHS, Bronson Partnership Becomes Official July 1

June 14, 2011

Since announcing plans in December to form a new regional healthcare system, Battle Creek Health System (BCHS) and Bronson Healthcare based in Kalamazoo have been working diligently to meet all of the legal and regulatory requirements necessary to move forward with their planned partnership.


On June 10, 2011, the boards of directors of the organizations approved a definitive agreement and, assuming no unforeseen difficulties, on July 1, 2011 BCHS will officially become Bronson Battle Creek.  At that time, Bronson Healthcare will become the ‘operating partner’ of the new regional system purchasing 51% of BCHS (50% held by Trinity Health, the outgoing co-owner, and 1% from BCHS Community Partners, the continuing partner). 


The vision for the new partnership is to deliver better coordination of care for patients throughout southwest Michigan. Key goals driving the partnership are to provide the ‘right care in the right place at the right time’ and maximize the clinical strengths of each entity.


Denise Brooks-Williams, current president and CEO of Battle Creek Health System, has been selected to serve as the CEO of Bronson Battle Creek. She will report to system president and CEO Frank J. Sardone. The board of directors for the Bronson system comprised of community leaders from the area, will expand to include six individuals who have served in a governance capacity for BCHS.


“The Bronson board of directors is very enthusiastic about this partnership,” says Bronson board chair Barbara James, “and I, personally, am passionate in believing that it will greatly enhance healthcare services for patients and families throughout southwest Michigan. We look forward to the perspective and experience the new board members will bring to the table and how the merging of our organizations will help us achieve optimal use and coordination of healthcare resources regionally. Further, we are committed to preserving, protecting and growing services at Bronson Battle Creek.”


New members of the Bronson board of directors are:


Brenda Hunt: President & CEO, Battle Creek Community Foundation
Mahesh Karamchandani, M.D.: Surgeon & Chief of BCHS medical staff
Nelson Karre: Attorney, Partner with Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher P.C., Battle Creek
Steven Lins, M.D.: Director of Anesthesiology, BCHS
LaJune Montgomery Tabron: Treasurer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Neil Nyberg: Retired VP & Chief Ethics and Compliance officer, Kellogg Co. 


They join:


Mark Atkinson, M.D.: Anesthesiologist, Vice Chief of Staff, Bronson Methodist Hospital
John M. Dunn, Ed.D.: President, Western Michigan University
Randall W. Eberts, Ph.D.: Executive Director, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Scott Gibson, M.D.: Emergency Medicine Physician, Past Chief of Staff, Bronson Methodist Hospital
James E. Greene, Jr.: Retired Director Community Relations & Contributions, Pharmacia Corporation
James S. Gunderson: Retired President, Unisource Packaging Systems
Barbara L. James: Managing Member, James & Springgate, PLC
William D. Johnston: President, Director and CEO, Greenleaf Companies
Marian G. Klein: Community Leader
Donald R. Parfet: Managing Director, Apjohn Group, LLC
Floyd L. Parks: Foundation Management & Investments
William C. Richardson, Ph.D.: Retired president and CEO of the Johns Hopkins University and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Bernard Roehr, M.D.: Orthopedic Surgeon, Chief of Staff, Bronson Methodist Hospital
Frank J. Sardone: President & CEO, Bronson Healthcare Group
Geoffrey A. Wardwell, M.D.: Retired Radiologist & President Kalamazoo Radiology, P.C.
Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Ph.D.: President, Kalamazoo College
Charles L. Zeller, Jr., M.D.: Emergency Medicine Physician & Past President Southwestern Michigan Emergency Services, P.C.


“Now that we have signed a definitive agreement to become Bronson Battle Creek, we can begin formal planning on a partnership for our organizations effective July 1,” says Nelson Karre, chair of the BCHS board of trustees.  “We are proud to bring the best of BCHS forward as we contribute to the next chapter in Bronson’s history of excellence. This marks an exciting new beginning for us all.”


Some of the benefits that Bronson and BCHS hope to realize by merging into one health system include:



  • meeting patients’ needs better by providing the ‘right care in the right place at the right time;

  • being able treat patients according to the same established best practices across the region, resulting in more consistent quality of care and better outcomes;

  • improving hospital capacity due to more effective patient placement between secondary and tertiary hospitals;

  • achieving higher efficiency through standardized care and reduced duplication of services;

  • stronger recruitment and retention of sub-specialists due to broader referral population; and

  • improved ability to impact community health improvement across a broad region


"In this partnership not everything will change on day one," adds Neil Nyberg, board chair of BCHS Community Partners.  "In fact, some things like our commitment to patients and staff and our confidence in the leadership of Denise Brooks-Williams will continue unchanged.  Our emphasis is going to be on partnering  ̶  partnering with services, with our physicians, and with our communities so we can better coordinate care across the region.  We want to strengthen what we have and contribute to the overall health, well being, and economic vitality of the entire region." Read more here


 


About Battle Creek Health System (www.BCHealth.com)
Battle Creek Health System will be renamed Bronson Battle Creek (BBC) on July 1, 2011.  It is a 218-bed, multi-campus healthcare provider, offering full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, behavioral health, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and linear accelerators equipped with IMRT and IGRT.  BBC has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes The Cancer Care Center as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer program, the only hospital in Michigan to receive that honor twice. Specialty services include Orthopaedic Renewal Center, the county’s largest accredited sleep center, and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


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