MHA Issues Statement on the Tragic Death of Patrick Lyoya

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

The video footage released today of the tragic shooting death of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids is jarring and incredibly disturbing. Almost two years ago, our nation witnessed the murder of George Floyd, which exposed for our entire country the racial injustices that exist in our communities. What happened April 4 in one of Michigan’s neighborhoods to Patrick Lyoya is unacceptable and shows that our state has so much more to accomplish to address systemic racism.

We express our deepest condolences to the family of Patrick Lyoya, those mourning his loss and all individuals who share these feelings of fear and anger at another Black community member losing their life unnecessarily.

Hospitals are a welcoming place of care for all those who need our services. The mission of the MHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities, and that mission is inclusive of every race, ethnicity and nationality. What happened to Patrick Lyoya is not acceptable; we stand with all our patients, their loved ones, our communities and our employees as we come to terms with Patrick’s unnecessary death.

Hospitals throughout our state will reflect on this tragedy as a time to come together and share peaceful expressions of our hurt and anguish. Following Mr. Floyd’s tragic death, MHA member hospital and health system chief executive officers signed a pledge expressing a unified commitment to address racial disparities, dismantle institutional racism and achieve health equity. We promise our efforts will not stop until we have achieved those goals.

Workplace Safety and Minority Health Recognized in April

National organizations are recognizing April as Workplace Violence Awareness Month and Minority Health Month, each of which are key priorities for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. The Alliance Against Workplace Violence is leading efforts for Workplace Violence Awareness Month while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is promoting Minority Health Month.

MHA CEO Brian Peters
MHA CEO Brian Peters

“The mission of the MHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Ensuring the safety of our healthcare workers and improving efforts to address health equity, diversity and inclusion fulfills our mission and is critical to every Michigan hospital and community.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector had the highest distribution of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the private sector in 2020, while OSHA data indicates healthcare workers are nearly four times more likely on average to experience violence than individuals in other industries.

Improving workplace safety in hospitals has been the focus of the MHA, the MHA Keystone Center and Michigan hospitals since the MHA Workplace Safety Collaborative was launched in 2019 with the goal to reduce injuries and increase safety awareness through educational events, webinar series and insights from subject matter experts.

With reported rates of violence against healthcare workers increasing during surges of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the MHA has actively advocated for House Bill 5682. This legislation would double the fines for assaulting a healthcare employee or volunteer in any healthcare setting. To help increase awareness of protecting healthcare workers, the MHA has developed and provided to MHA members free of charge workplace violence posters.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is another key component of the activities of the MHA Keystone Center. The MHA Board of Trustees endorsed in 2020 the Address Racism and Health Inequities pledge, which has since been embraced by all MHA member hospitals and hospital systems. The pledge expresses the need for hospitals to commit to addressing disparities, dismantling institutional racism and achieving health equity. The MHA Keystone Center also released the Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality guide, which is to be used by hospitals to assess strategies aimed at reducing disparities, achieving equity and improving quality.

“I am very proud of the work the MHA Keystone Center has made on both workplace safety and diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Sarah Scranton, MPA, MPP, vice president, safety and quality, MHA, and executive director, MHA Keystone Center. “The safety of caregivers and addressing health disparities can significantly impact the quality and safety of care delivered inside a hospital.”

Health equity is achieved when all members of society enjoy a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social determinants of health contribute to racial and ethnic minority groups having disproportionate health outcomes and include neighborhood and physical environment, health and healthcare, occupation and job conditions, income and wealth, and education. The MHA and the MHA Keystone Center have long been committed to addressing health disparities, which is a foundational concept that shapes all the organization’s quality improvement and safety efforts.

More information about the MHA’s efforts and resources on workplace safety and health equity can be found at

MHA Mourns Passing of MyMichigan Health President and CEO Diane Postler-Slattery

Diane Postler-Slatter

Diane Postler-SlatterThe following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

On behalf of myself, the MHA staff, our Board of Trustees and our member hospitals across the state, we are devastated by the loss of MyMichigan Health President and CEO Diane Postler-Slattery and her husband, Don. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends as they absorb this extraordinary loss. We are also sending our condolences to the MyMichigan Health team members in all the communities they serve.

Diane was a current member of the MHA Board of Trustees and the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board, where she always acted as a strong advocate for advancing the health of individuals and communities. Diane never hesitated to speak up for what she believed in. She loved serving her team at MyMichigan Health, and her voice and leadership will be missed terribly.

We will always remember Diane and Don as good colleagues, good people and good friends. May they both rest peacefully.

MHA Announces Senior Staff Promotions, Additions

Laura Appel
Laura Appel
Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association is promoting Laura Appel to executive vice president of government relations and public policy from her prior role as senior vice president, health policy & innovation. In this role, which takes effect Feb. 28, Appel will have executive oversight of the MHA’s Capitol Advocacy Center.

Appel joined the MHA in 2000 following a career at the Michigan House of Representatives as a director and policy analyst. Throughout her time at the MHA, Appel has focused on strategic priorities related to state and federal lobbying and healthcare policy analysis, including issues such as auto no-fault insurance, behavioral health, Medicare and Medicaid policy and the 340B drug pricing program.

“It is clear that Laura has earned the respect of the MHA Board of Trustees, as well as her peers, and I am confident that she will help lead the MHA effectively into the future,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters.

Also joining the MHA Advocacy team as of Feb. 22 is Elizabeth Kutter, JD, now the MHA’s senior director, government & political affairs. Kutter joins the MHA from Wayne State University, where she served as director, state relations, since May 2020. Prior to that, Kutter worked as manager, government affairs, at Henry Ford Health System.

In addition to these advocacy-focused changes, the MHA also welcomes Sarah Scranton, MPA, MPP, as the MHA’s new vice president of safety and quality and the MHA Keystone Center’s new executive director effective Feb. 28. Scranton has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and public policy. She is the former executive director of the Arthritis Foundation of Michigan. She has also served as executive director at Tomorrow’s Child and Planned Parenthood Advocates and Affiliates of Michigan. As executive director, Scranton will work closely with MHA and MHA Keystone Center staff and governing boards to execute the association’s mission, vision and values.

Healthcare Priorities Protected, Workforce Sustainability Addressed in Executive Budget

MHA CEO Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian PetersThe following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Crucial healthcare funding sources remain protected in the fiscal year 2023 executive budget recommendation. We’d like to express our gratitude toward Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her administration for their commitment supporting rural and critical access hospitals, graduate medical education, the Healthy Michigan Plan and Michigan’s Medicaid population.

Our hospitals are also experiencing a staffing crisis that requires multiple solutions. We are thrilled to see programs that would improve retention and recruitment of healthcare workers. The proposed Hero Pay recognizes the tremendous dedication and sacrifice of healthcare workers throughout the pandemic, while the talent pipeline will be expanded through additional investments in medical education and reviewing potential licensing flexibility for foreign-trained medical professionals.

Michigan’s behavioral health system is also stressed to its limits, and we’re encouraged to see a greater focus and financial resources toward providing potentially transformational improvements to the state’s behavioral health system that can address many of the challenges patients and families currently face.

We’d be remiss if we did not thank all lawmakers and state officials who have worked tirelessly over the past two years to provide relief and support to hospitals and health systems over the course of the pandemic. As we enter another budget cycle, we look forward to continuing to engage with the Michigan Legislature to advance the health of Michigan individuals and communities.

MHA Statement on Passage of Vital Healthcare Workforce Funding

Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

MHA CEO Brian PetersHospitals throughout all regions of Michigan are experiencing significant workforce shortages. The passage today of House Bill 5523 provides critically needed resources for recruitment and retention of healthcare workers to care for our communities. This funding is vital to assist hospitals and health systems in addressing high job vacancy rates, providing training and development, and supporting existing workers who have resiliently provided care for patients throughout the two years of this pandemic.

We’d like to express our gratitude to the Michigan Legislature for prioritizing this funding that will go directly toward Michigan healthcare workers. We encourage Gov. Whitmer to sign this bill as soon as it reaches her desk to bring urgently needed relief to our healthcare workforce.

MHA Statement on Passage of Senate Bill 759

MHA CEO Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Brian Peters

The situation in Michigan hospitals is dire and the overwhelming support of Senate Bill 759 from the Michigan Legislature places into law another tool hospitals can use to address staffing shortages in the short-term. We appreciate the speed which lawmakers prioritized this bill and encourage Gov. Whitmer to sign this important piece of legislation so out-of-state providers who are in good standing and trained, educated, and experienced to provide medical care can continue to do so in Michigan without a Michigan-specific license.

MHA Statement on Significant Funding Appropriated for Healthcare Workforce

Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Brian PetersOn behalf of Michigan hospitals and health systems, we commend the Michigan House Appropriations Committee for introducing House Bill 5523 that includes vital funding for healthcare workers who have spent the past 21 months responding to a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. A healthcare workforce shortage existed prior to the pandemic and the pandemic has only made it worse. Today’s funding appropriation is a crucial step towards recognizing existing healthcare workers and providing hospitals with resources to improve recruitment and retention.

We also appreciate the additional funding priorities, including the creation of regional monoclonal antibody clinics, COVID-19 testing for schools and COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In particular, the infusion sites will improve accessibility for residents while reducing the burden placed on hospitals and their staff.

As this bill moves through the legislative process, we will continue to work with elected officials to express the importance of this funding to the healthcare workforce, who go to work every day to ensure our communities have access to care. Considering the current COVID-19 surge, this funding can’t come soon enough.

Michigan Healthcare Organizations Complete MHA Keystone Center’s Second Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community to Receive National Recognition

Correction: Corrects prior press release to share all organizations that have achieved either Age-Friendly Health System recognition level.

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center recently concluded its second Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community with over 60 Michigan healthcare organizations across the care continuum participating with the intention to become nationally recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as Age-Friendly Health Systems.

Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the IHI, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, to help hospitals and other care settings implement a set of the evidence-based framework known as the “4Ms.”

The MHA Keystone Center concluded its second Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community in October, with funding support from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Action Communities provide support for state-based teams to accelerate reliable practice of the 4Ms in an active community of learners and testers. This work demonstrates the MHA Keystone Center’s dedication to working with local and statewide agencies and organizations to advance age-friendly efforts to create an age-friendly ecosystem spanning an older adult’s continuum of life.

“Through continued commitment to patient safety and quality, our members worked tirelessly to provide every older adult with the best care possible, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “The learnings of the Action Community extend beyond bedside care for an older adult. Participants engaged in identifying strategies that address important factors like social determinants of health and ageism that impact the well-being of our older adults.”

The following organizations have been recognized as an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence, meaning they have three months of verified data to demonstrate the early impact of using the 4Ms:

  • Bronson LakeView Hospital
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Albany Health & Rehabilitation Center
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Bronson Commons
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Brookdale Battle Creek
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Brookdale Portage
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Caretel Inns of Lakeland
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Cass County Medical Care
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Chalet of Niles
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Chesterton Manor
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Douglas Cove
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Edgewood Health and Rehab
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Evergreen Manor
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Fairview Nursing and Rehab
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Grace Healthcare of Three Rivers
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Greenwood Health and Living
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Hallmark Living of Benton Harbor
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Heartland Healthcare Care Center
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Journey Senior Living Valpo
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Maplewood of Marshall
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Masonville Place
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Medilodge of Kalamazoo
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Medilodge of Portage
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Medilodge of Westwood
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group North Woods Village at Kokomo
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Pine Ridge Michigan
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Riveridge Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Signature Healthcare of Bluffton
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group SKLD Care
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group The Oaks at NorthPointe Woods
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group The Willows AL
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Twin Cities Nursing and Rehab
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group West Woods of Bridgman
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group West Woods of Niles
  • Helen Newberry Joy Hospital and Healthcare Center Gibson Family Health Clinic
  • Hurley Medical Center
  • ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital
  • Sparrow Carson City Hospital
  • Sparrow Ionia Hospital
  • Mary Mercy Hospital – TONE Home Health

The following organizations have been recognized as Age-Friendly Health Systems Participants, meaning they have successfully developed plans to implement the 4Ms​:

  • Baraga County Memorial Hospital
  • Baraga County Physician Group
  • Beaumont Dearborn
  • Eaton Rapids Medical Center
  • EHM Senior Solutions Redies Centre
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Country Charm
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Hallmark Living of Holland
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Riverside Village
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Sprenger Health Care of Mishawaka
  • GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group
  • The Hearth at Juday Creek
  • Hills & Dales General Hospital
  • Ingham County Medical Care Facility
  • Karmanos Cancer Center Dresner Clinic & Infusion Center
  • Karmanos Cancer Center Eisenberg Clinic & Infusion Center
  • McKenzie Professional Group
  • McLaren Caro Region
  • Sparrow Clinton Hospital
  • Sparrow Hospital
  • Sparrow Medical Group St. Johns Outpatient
  • Sparrow Medical Group St. Johns Inpatient
  • Spectrum Health Blodgett ACE Unit
  • Spectrum Health Medical Group Geriatrics
  • Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

“We’re grateful to have such tremendous partners dedicated to implementing age-friendly care across the state,” said Neel Hajra, CEO of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “It’s remarkable to see the progress they’ve made in such a difficult environment thanks to their commitment to this work. Everyone deserves to age with dignity, and when older adults seek care, their needs and aspirations should shape the assistance they receive — the MHA is helping ensure that is the case in Michigan.”

For more information about the Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community, visit the MHA Keystone Center’s Older Adults webpage.

Unvaccinated residents filling Michigan hospitals, getting hospitalized for COVID


As Michigan continues to record high numbers of COVID-19 cases, new data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) proves that the majority of Michigan residents severely sick with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and MHA are pleading with residents to get vaccinated for their own health, the safety of Michigan’s health care personnel, and to avoid additional strain on health care systems that are already stretched and struggling to respond.

“The data is clear: if you are unvaccinated, you are risking hospitalization or death,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We have a safe and effective vaccine that is quite literally saving lives. Michigan residents absolutely need to get vaccinated to keep their loved ones safe this holiday.”

Based on recent data from most Michigan health systems, MHA has found that three out of four COVID patients are unvaccinated (76%), 87% of COVID ICU patients are unvaccinated and 88% of COVID ventilator patients are unvaccinated.

“Michigan’s health care systems are stretched beyond their limits – so much so that the U.S. Department of Defense is providing clinical staffing support to hospitals throughout the state that are operating at capacity, delaying nonemergency medical procedures and placing their emergency departments on diversion,” said Brian Peters, CEO of MHA. “This data confirms what the situation in our hospitals is already telling us: get vaccinated, whether it is your first dose, vaccination for your children or a booster dose.”

Michigan’s number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases reached a new high this week, with 4,291 patients hospitalized. Recently, Michigan reached 70% of residents 16 and older who have received their first vaccine dose, but cases are surging in the unvaccinated population.

MDHHS is monitoring for the COVID-19 omicron variant which has not been detected in the state. Residents are advised that the presence of variants makes it even more important to get vaccinated, including the booster doses to increase protection, wear masks, and take other precautions.

In addition to getting vaccinated and wearing masks – particularly indoors and in crowded areas – other things people can do to protect themselves and their loved ones include:

  • Getting tested for COVID-19, especially before gatherings.
  • Physically distancing from others and avoiding crowds
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water and cleaning hands with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Self-isolating until you recover if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

MDHHS has issued a public health advisory that all Michiganders, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask in indoor public settings and those who are not fully vaccinated or who are immunocompromised should avoid large crowds or gatherings.