Ludwig Community Benefit Award Honors Hospital Programs

The MHA announced the winners of its 2022 Ludwig Community Benefit Award during the association’s Annual Membership Meeting June 30. The honorees include programs supported by Ascension Michigan, Warren; Spectrum Health Lakeland, Saint Joseph; McLaren Bay Region, Bay City; and Chelsea Hospital. The award is named in memory of Patric E. Ludwig, a former MHA president who championed investing in the community’s overall health, and is presented to member organizations integrally involved in collaborative programs to improve the health and well-being of area residents. Each winner will receive $5,000 from the MHA Health Foundation to assist in its health improvement efforts.

Dr. Kenneth Coleman receives the Ludwig Award on behalf of Ascension Michigan School-Based Health Centers.
Dr. Kenneth Coleman receives the Ludwig Award on behalf of Ascension Michigan School-Based Health Centers.

Ascension Michigan School-Based Health Centers are an initiative of Ascension Southeast Michigan Community Health, committed to improving the quality of life in the communities the health system serves. Since 1996, the program has developed mental health and medical plans for each of its 29 centers, with funding from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the school districts where clinics are located.

With the increased need for children’s mental health services caused by the pandemic, the health centers set a goal to provide mental health services to students transitioning from in-person instruction to remote learning. The health centers expanded telepsychiatry services to maximize access to care and applied for additional state funding to add service sites.

The School-Based Health Centers collaborate with several Ascension Michigan programs and community organizations to address severe mental health issues, substance use disorders, violence, grief, environmental or safety problems, and more.

The Ascension Michigan School-Based Health Centers will use its cash award to address the stigma attached to using mental health services through schoolwide educational activities and youth-produced videos.

For more information on the Ascension Michigan School-Based Health Centers, contact Kenneth Coleman, LPC, PhD, director, community health, at Ascension Michigan at (248) 849-5715.

Greg Lane, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, McLaren Health Care, receives the Ludwig Award on behalf of McLaren Bay Region and its foundation opened the Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic.
Greg Lane, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, McLaren Health Care, receives the Ludwig Award on behalf of McLaren Bay Region and its foundation, which opened the Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic.

McLaren Bay Region and its foundation opened the Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic in March 2004. The clinic serves the primary healthcare needs of disadvantaged residents in Bay and surrounding counties, connecting them with basic health resources through education, prevention and treatment.

The clinic operates Wednesdays from 4 p.m. until the last patient is seen. Three part-time employees oversee clinic operations and patient needs, arranging referrals, prescription assistance, volunteer scheduling and more. More than 175 volunteers, including licensed professionals and lay volunteers, provide more than 2,000 hours of service each year.

From March 2004 through September 2021, the Nickless Clinic provided care to 9,275 individuals during 31,568 visits. When asked where they would have sought care without the clinic, 65% of new patients said they would have forgone care and 20% indicated the emergency room.

The clinic is financed through an endowment fund and annual grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, as well as by annual donations from the community. The money from the Ludwig Award will be used to assist in patients’ prescription medication costs.

For more information on the Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic, contact Lynn Weaver, vice president, philanthropy, McLaren Bay Medical Foundation, at (989) 895-4728.

Lynn Todman, vice president of health equity at Spectrum Health Lakeland
Lynn Todman, vice president of health equity at Spectrum Health Lakeland, receives the Ludwig Award.

Spectrum Health Lakeland established the Center for Better Health in downtown Benton Harbor in November 2020 as a two-month rapid response to COVID-19-related health inequities. Eighty-five percent of Benton Harbor residents are African American, nearly half live in poverty, and many experience conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and pre-term and low birth-weight babies.

The disparate impact of the pandemic on Benton Harbor residents and findings from recent Community Health Needs Assessments highlighted the need for increased access to healthcare services. Spectrum Health Lakeland responded with additional resources to support the center’s operations and expansion. It is moving from its current 1,200 square foot facility to a 30,000 square foot building donated by the Whirlpool Corporation. Since its opening, more than 2,500 individuals have used the center to conveniently access culturally customized healthcare.

The Ludwig Award will fund a health equity leadership development program designed to prepare community members and hospital staff to effectively collaborate in strengthening Lakeland’s ability to meet the healthcare and social needs of the residents of Benton Harbor and other underserved communities in its service area.

For more information about the Center for Better Health, contact Lynn Todman, vice president of health equity at Spectrum Health Lakeland, at (269) 208-2254.

Rob Casalou receives the Ludwig Award on behalf of Chelsea Hospital and the WAVE Stockbridge-Manchester Shuttle.
Rob Casalou receives the Ludwig Award on behalf of Chelsea Hospital and the WAVE Stockbridge-Manchester Shuttle.

Chelsea Hospital, a joint venture hospital, whose partners are Trinity Health Michigan and University of Michigan Health, spearheaded development of the WAVE Stockbridge-Manchester Shuttle to address a need recognized through the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment, which identified social isolation as a high priority need and lack of transportation as a risk factor in Stockbridge and Manchester. These towns had no public transportation options, are among the most financially vulnerable communities in the area, and had recently lost vital businesses.

Chelsea Hospital partnered with the nonprofit Western Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE) to create routes between these towns and services in Chelsea. The hospital and community leaders worked to ensure the free transportation was available to those who most needed it to build social connections and reduce barriers to employment, education, food access and healthcare.

Chelsea Hospital underwrote initial costs for the WAVE bus to connect the three towns, and Michigan Department of Transportation funding allows it to continue. Between August 2020 and January 2022, the shuttle provided 1,005 rides, more than two-thirds of them to disabled riders.

The Ludwig Award funds will ensure widespread awareness of this service. For more information on the WAVE Stockbridge-Manchester Shuttle, contact Reiley Curran, Chelsea Hospital community health improvement manager, at (734) 593-6269.

To learn more about the MHA’s annual Ludwig Community Benefit Award, contact Erin Steward at the MHA.

Registration Due May 27 for MHA Annual Membership Meeting

Annual Meeting icon

Annual Meeting iconThe registration deadline for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting is May 27. The in-person event will take place June 29, 30 and July 1 on Mackinac Island.

The mobile meeting app for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting features an updated list of attendees and sponsors and offers other essential information about the event. Members can take advantage of this timesaving and convenient tool by downloading it on a mobile device. The app can be downloaded by accessing a dedicated link with the desired device. The app is sponsored by the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Registration is open for the Links Fore Health golf outing, which supports health improvement initiatives led by hospitals and health systems. The outing is a nine-hole scramble, and golfers may register individually or in pairs. Prizes are given in a variety of categories. The Links Fore Health outing sponsor partner is Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees 12 years of age and older; details surrounding the vaccination verification process are outlined in the Code of Conduct section of the annual meeting webpage. Members with questions should email the MHA or call (888) 413-2118.

MHA Annual Meeting Registration Deadline Approaching

Annual Meeting icon

Annual Meeting iconThe registration deadline is May 27 for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting June 29, 30 and July 1 on Mackinac Island. COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees 12 years of age and older; details surrounding the vaccination verification process are outlined on the Code of Conduct section of the annual meeting webpage.

On June 30 the lineup of outstanding healthcare experts include Scott Gottlieb, MD, a physician and former commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health and board chair of the American Hospital Association. On July 1, Tim Alberta, an award-winning journalist and writer for The Atlantic will share his views on federal and state politics, and street artist David Garibaldi, who has performed at the NBA finals and was a finalist on network TV’s America’s Got Talent, will create four paintings before attendees’ eyes and share his journey from a street artist to performing on the biggest stages in the world.

In addition to the numerous networking opportunities, attendees can support health improvement initiatives led by hospitals and health systems by registering to play in the Links Fore Health golf outing. The outing is a nine-hole scramble, and golfers may register individually or in pairs. Prizes are given in a variety of categories. The Links Fore Health outing sponsor partner is Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

Members with questions should email the MHA or call (888) 413-2118.

MHA Annual Membership Meeting Returns to In-person Format

Annual Meeting icon

Annual Meeting iconThe 2022 MHA Annual Membership Meeting will return to an in-person meeting June 29, 30 and July 1 on Mackinac Island. COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees 12 years of age and older, and details surrounding the vaccination verification process are outlined on the Code of Conduct section of the dedicated Annual Meeting webpage. Opportunities for sponsorship of the annual meeting are available through May 6, including sponsoring a hole at the Links Fore Health golf outing fundraiser, which supports the programs and services Michigan hospitals provide at low or no cost to improve the quality of health and life.

The annual meeting will feature an outstanding lineup of healthcare experts, including Scott Gottlieb, MD, former commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and author of the New York Times bestseller Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic, and Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health and board chair of the American Hospital Association. Events like the ice cream social, the chairs’ and awards reception, and more will provide ample time to network and renew relationships.

Register by May 27 to attend this memorable event. Members with questions should email the MHA or call (888) 413-2118.

MHA Annual Membership Meeting Registration Open

Mackinac IslandMHA members will return to an in-person annual meeting June 29 through July 1 on Mackinac Island. COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees 12 years of age and older; details surrounding the vaccination verification process are outlined on the Code of Conduct section of the annual meeting webpage. The meeting’s outstanding lineup of healthcare experts include Scott Gottlieb, MD, a physician and former commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health. Gottlieb will speak about systemwide failure across government institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the policies and investments essential to prepare the United States for future threats. Lassiter will address diversity, social justice and healthcare strategic priorities.

The annual meeting also includes the popular family event with games and entertainment, the ice cream social, the Links Fore Health golf outing fundraiser, and many more opportunities for relationship building.

Register by May 27 to attend this memorable event. Opportunities for sponsorship of the annual meeting are available through May 6. Members with questions should email the MHA or call (888) 413-2118.

CEO Report — Emerging from a Pandemic Program Year

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.Helen Keller

MHA CEO Brian PetersFor many years, the turning of the calendar to June has created an air of excitement as we make final preparations for our incomparable Annual Membership Meeting on Mackinac Island. While I am disappointed that the pandemic has necessitated a virtual annual meeting for the second consecutive year, new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and subsequent revised state guidelines have many optimistic that we have emerged from the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it will still be a long time before our hospitals cease caring for patients infected by COVID-19, but the increasing vaccination rates and mounting evidence documenting the reduced risk of vaccinated individuals contracting, transmitting or falling ill with COVID-19 is a sure sign that better days are ahead.

Now that we are in the home stretch of the current MHA program year (and in light of declining COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations and test positivity rates in Michigan), I’d like to highlight several very recent non-COVID MHA accomplishments that show the strength and value of our association.

Our advocacy work never stops, and I am very pleased to share that the Michigan Legislature recently advanced budget proposals for both the current and upcoming fiscal year that fully fund our MHA priorities for hospitals and health systems. They include the Healthy Michigan Plan, which now has record enrollment levels in excess of 900,000 Michiganders; recent Medicaid outpatient rate increases; graduate medical education; the rural access pool and obstetrical stabilization fund; and disproportionate share hospital payments. In addition, the budget now includes potentially transformational behavioral health funding.

We are all too familiar with the worsening behavioral health crisis in Michigan and its significant impact on patients and families (as well as hospitals themselves). This issue has been elevated as a priority by the MHA Board of Trustees this year and, with their encouragement and support, we are pleased that the MHA team has secured inclusion in the House budget proposal for $125 million in new funding to add access to pediatric psychiatric treatment at hospitals, improve care of behavioral health patients in the emergency departments and add additional settings of care for behavioral health cases. By adding these resources, we should be able to reduce the time it takes for children to find placement, while also providing infrastructure funding for hospitals to find innovative solutions for emergency departments to improve existing facilities to accommodate patients with psychiatric needs. This may include distinct entrances for patients in crisis and separate spaces with safe furnishings and restrooms. As demand and the acuity of these patients increases, we are hopeful these funds can help address the main challenges so Michiganders can receive the treatment they need.

From an operations perspective, there has been a great deal of recent activity at the association. We recently welcomed Molly Dwyer-White, MPH, as the MHA’s new vice president of safety and quality and the MHA Keystone Center’s new executive director. Molly brings over 18 years of experience in healthcare and comes to us from Michigan Medicine, where she led multiple efforts to establish and integrate structures to assess and improve patient experience while serving as the director of the Office of Patient Experience. Molly is working closely with the MHA and MHA Keystone Center staff and governing boards as she transitions into her role, and I am confident she will continue the MHA’s strong work in improving health outcomes and addressing health inequities.

We just announced our newest MHA Service Corporation Endorsed Business Partner, CyberForce|Q, which is a leading provider of cybersecurity services, advancing the safety of information systems by utilizing a tactical, collective defense model with a focus on continuous improvement. CyberForce|Q has worked directly with the MHA for a number of years and helped us to launch our Mi|HSOC cybersecurity operations center for hospitals and health systems. With healthcare now the top target for cybercriminals globally, we are pleased to offer this new collaboration.

The MHA has also reconfigured our headquarters in Okemos, the Spencer C. Johnson Building, to allow for a new tenant in the Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA), effective May 1. We are delighted to welcome the MOA and its members to our facility, and we are confident that this arrangement will lead to even greater opportunities for synergy well into the future. Both of our organizations, along with the Michigan State Medical Society, comprise The Partnership for Michigan’s Health, which routinely produces the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report, and collaborates on efforts that improve Michigan healthcare.

As for those MHA employees housed in the MHA headquarters and our Capitol Advocacy Center in downtown Lansing, their contributions and insights have helped the MHA make Modern Healthcare’s list of Best Places to Work in Healthcare for 2021 — the only state hospital association to be recognized. I am incredibly proud of this prestigious distinction because it validates our constant efforts to support our employees — who are the strength of our association. To earn this distinction in the midst of a pandemic is especially gratifying.

I also want to recognize our outgoing Board Chair Edwin A. Ness, president & CEO of Munson Healthcare, whose term will end later this month. Taking the gavel amid a once-in-a-century pandemic, Ed provided tremendous leadership to help guide us through multiple statewide COVID-19 surges and the challenges associated with the delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. We spent many early mornings and late nights on phone calls, and the MHA could not have accomplished what we did without Ed’s unwavering commitment to the role.

During Annual Meeting, we will formally transition from Ed to incoming Board Chair Tina Freese Decker, president & CEO of Spectrum Health, who I could not be more excited to lead us through our next program year. In addition to guiding West Michigan’s largest health system, Tina has played an active role as a co-chair with the Protect Michigan Commission in addressing vaccine hesitancy and increasing education and awareness efforts on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.

If you have not done so already, I encourage you to register and join us at Annual Meeting. In addition to hearing Tina’s formal remarks, I’m particularly happy to have my friend Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, scheduled to join us to discuss key healthcare advocacy items at the federal level. We will also be joined by Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, a leader in health equity who serves as a fellow within the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Minority Health and will explore racism and its effect on public health, as well as breaking social stigmas relating to racial injustice in healthcare.

While the 2020-2021 program year has been one of the most difficult in recent memory, I am proud of the strength and resiliency displayed by the MHA, our employees, our member organizations and the front-line caregivers who have gone to war against the COVID-19 virus every day. We are not out of the woods yet by any means, as we must be mindful of potential emerging variants and other complicating factors that could lead to yet another future surge. Rest assured that the MHA will continue our daily efforts in support of our members until COVID-19 is defeated once and for all. In the meantime, we should collectively celebrate the fact that, at least for now, new infections and hospitalizations have been dramatically reduced.

Through it all, the MHA has continued to serve our members and live our mission to advance the health of individuals and communities, to innovate and to keep an eye to the future. I am pleased to share just a few tangible examples in this column, and I am optimistic about our ability to create even more successful outcomes in the future. In short, we have kept our collective faces to the sunshine and, as a result, our association is as strong as ever.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Registration Open for Virtual MHA Annual Membership Meeting

Annual Meeting icon

MHA Annual MeetingThe 2021 Virtual MHA Annual Membership Meeting will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 24. The event will feature a federal update from Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, and remarks by Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, a leader in health equity who serves as a fellow within the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Minority Health.

The virtual meeting will include the MHA House of Delegates business meeting; recognition of the annual MHA award winners; and remarks from incoming board chair Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, Spectrum Health.

Event details are available on the meeting’s webpage, and members should register online by June 16 to participate. The meeting is open to MHA members, meeting sponsors and invited guests of the MHA. To learn more about the meeting or opportunities for sponsorship, which are available through June 4, contact Erica Leyko at (517) 285-7785.

Examine Prevailing Healthcare Topics at PSO Annual Meeting

Patient Safety Organization logo

Listed Patient Safety OrganizationThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored many prevailing issues that patients and health organizations are facing: the impact of health disparities, opioid use disorder and failure to rescue, among others. These topics will be discussed during the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually March 9 and 10.

The annual event provides healthcare teams with an opportunity to connect and discuss how healthcare organizations are cultivating a safe culture to ensure patients receive high-quality care. A detailed agenda for the 2021 event is available on the event webpage.

Registration is free and open exclusively to MHA Keystone Center PSO members. Continuing education credits will be available for nursing and risk management. Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

PSO Annual Meeting to Focus on Health Equity and Implicit Bias

The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Annual Meeting brings together national safety and clinical experts each year to discuss hot topics in healthcare. Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19, which is why a key focus for the 2021 meeting is health equity and implicit bias.

Randolph Rasch, PhD, RN, FAANP, dean and professor at the Michigan State University College of Nursing, will present on health equity and examine disparities in healthcare. Participants in the virtual event will gain a better understanding of implicit bias and how it impacts patients, families and healthcare workers. Rasch will also discuss the purpose of implicit bias training for medical professionals who are renewing their licenses.

The 2021 virtual event will be conducted in two half-day sessions March 9 and 10. Additional presentations will focus on opioid use disorder, maternal hypertension and failure to rescue, as well as updates about the MHA Keystone Center PSO. A detailed agenda will be available soon.

Registration is free and available to MHA Keystone Center PSO members. Continuing education opportunities will be offered. Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.