MHA Board of Trustees Holds Final Meeting of Program Year

Tina Freese Decker at the MHA Annual Meeting
Tina Freese Decker at the MHA Annual Meeting
2021-2022 MHA Board Chair Tina Freese Decker.

After a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHA Board of Trustees held its final meeting of the 2021-2022 program year on Mackinac Island in conjunction with the MHA Annual Membership Meeting. As part of a standing agenda item focused on safety and quality lessons learned, board member Ed Ness, president and CEO, Munson Healthcare, shared examples of community and workforce resiliency exhibited by the Gaylord community and Otsego Memorial Hospital team members in the wake of the destruction caused by the recent EF3 tornado that carved a path through that community and within a block of the hospital, resulting in injury and loss of life. The board also had a strategic conversation about the most effective association engagement on matters of social and public health, health equity, financial sustainability and improving the patient experience. In all of these areas, the board stressed the importance of focusing on the mission of healthcare organizations to advance the health of patients and communities and explaining the challenges healthcare providers face in achieving this mission with specific examples. Other business included final program year reports from the committees on Behavioral Health and Public Health, with the recommendation to continue the work of these standing committees.

Current Health PAC Chair and incoming MHA Board of Trustees Chair T. Anthony Denton provided an update on the status of the 2022 MHA Health PAC campaign and encouraged eligible individuals and organizations to meet their contribution goals. Information about the MHA Health PAC is available online. The board also approved type 3 membership for BMG Money Inc., Fifth Third Bank, Vituity, and new Endorsed Business Partners AMN Language Services, B.E. Smith, HealthRise and WeLearn.

Board chair Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, BHSH Health System, acknowledged outgoing board members Tim Johnson, president and CEO, Eaton Rapids Medical Center, and Dan Babcock, CEO, Marlette Regional Hospital and Deckerville Community Hospital. Freese Decker also recognized past chair Ed Ness for his leadership during the pandemic and wished incoming chair T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System, well in his leadership role. For more information about actions of the MHA Board of Trustees, contact Amy Barkholz at the MHA.

Health & Hospital Association Elects 2022-2023 Officers and Board Members

Members of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) elected new officers and appointed board members during the association’s Annual Membership Meeting June 30. Officers of the 2022-2023 MHA Board of Trustees include T. Anthony Denton, chair; Shannon Striebich, chair-elect; and Julie Yaroch, DO, treasurer. In addition, Brian Peters was reappointed to serve an indefinite term of office as CEO of the association. The board directs the greater Lansing-based association’s statewide representation of hospitals and healthcare providers.

Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, will serve as chair during the association’s 2022-2023 program year beginning July 1. The terms of service of Striebich, president, Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, and senior vice president of operations, Trinity Health Michigan, Canton; and Yaroch, president, ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital, Adrian, will also span the 2022-2023 program year. Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, BHSH System, Grand Rapids, will serve as immediate past chair.

“On behalf of our entire membership, I want to thank Tina Freese Decker for her outstanding leadership of the MHA Board through yet another year of challenges, including the pandemic, workforce shortages and more,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We are grateful for Tina’s service. We are excited to now welcome T. Anthony Denton as our incoming chair. We know Tony’s dedication to advancing the health of individuals and communities will be felt by the entire hospital and healthcare community during his tenure.”

Brittany Lavis, group CEO, Detroit Medical Center, and Kent Riddle, CEO, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids, were appointed as trustees at-large for three-year terms. Douglas Apple, MD, chief clinical officer, Ascension Michigan, Warren; Jeremiah J. Hodshire, president and CEO, Hillsdale Hospital; and Hunter Nostrant, CEO, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, Newberry, were appointed as trustees at-large for two-year terms.

Reappointed for three-year terms on the 2022-2023 MHA Board of Trustees as trustees at-large were Karen Cheeseman, president and CEO, Mackinac Straits Health System, St. Ignace; James Dover, president and CEO, Sparrow Health System, Lansing; and Gregory R. Lane, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, McLaren Health Care, Grand Blanc.

Continuing to serve their current terms of service as trustees at-large are Gar Atchison, chief executive officer, UP Health System – Marquette, and market president, UP Health System; Beth Charlton, president and CEO, Covenant HealthCare, Saginaw; Mark Eastburg, PhD, president and CEO, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Grand Rapids; Bill Manns, president and CEO, Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo; Robert Riney, president and CEO, Henry Ford Health, Detroit; and Shelleye Yaklin, president and CEO, North Ottawa Community Health System, Grand Haven.

Health & Hospital Association Elects 2021-2022 Officers and Board Members

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Tina Freese DeckerMembers of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) elected new officers and appointed board members during the association’s virtual Annual Membership Meeting June 24. Officers of the 2021-2022 MHA Board of Trustees include Tina Freese Decker, chair; T. Anthony Denton, chair-elect; and Daniel Babcock, treasurer. The board directs the greater Lansing-based association’s statewide representation of hospitals and healthcare providers.

Freese Decker, president and CEO, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, will serve as chair during the association’s 2021-2022 program year beginning July 1. The terms of service of Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, and Babcock, CEO, Marlette Regional Hospital and Deckerville Community Hospital, will also span the 2021-2022 program year. Edwin Ness, president and CEO, Munson Healthcare, Traverse City, will serve as immediate past chair.

Beth Charlton, executive vice president and chief nursing officer, Covenant HealthCare, Saginaw, was appointed as a trustee at-large for a three-year term. Gar Atchison, chief executive officer, UP Health System – Marquette, and market president, UP Health System; and Bill Manns, president and CEO, Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo, were appointed as trustees at-large for two-year terms.

Reappointed for three-year terms on the 2021-2022 MHA Board of Trustees as trustees at-large were Kenneth Berkovitz, MD, senior vice president, Ascension, and ministry market executive, Ascension Michigan; Robert Riney, president, healthcare operations, and chief operating officer, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit; Diane Postler-Slattery, PhD, president and CEO, MidMichigan Health, Midland; and Shannon Striebich, president, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and senior vice president of operations, Trinity Michigan, Pontiac.

Continuing to serve their current terms of service as trustees at-large are Karen Cheeseman, president and CEO, Mackinac Straits Health System, St. Ignace; James Dover, president and CEO, Sparrow Health System, Lansing; Mark Eastburg, PhD, president and CEO, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Grand Rapids; John Fox, president and CEO, Beaumont Health, Southfield; Audrey Gregory, PhD, Group CEO, Detroit Medical Center; Timothy Johnson, president and CEO, Eaton Rapids Medical Center; Gregory R. Lane, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, McLaren Health Care, Grand Blanc; Shelleye Yaklin, president and CEO, North Ottawa Community Health System, Grand Haven; and Julie Yaroch, DO, president, Promedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital, Adrian. In addition, Brian Peters was reappointed to serve an indefinite term of office as CEO of the association.

MHA Board of Trustees Wraps up Unprecedented Program Year

The MHA Board of Trustees concluded the 2020-2021 program year by holding its first in-person meeting of the year at the MHA offices in Okemos for fully vaccinated attendees. As with every meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the board reviewed the latest statewide COVID-19-related data and took a moment to reflect on the daunting toll the virus has taken in lives lost and strain placed on healthcare workers and all Michiganders. It was noted that, since the onset of the pandemic, Michigan hospitals have treated over 450,000 COVID-19 patients in emergency departments and admitted more than 120,000 for inpatient care, including 4,500 children. Despite these sobering statistics, the board celebrated the continued steep decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and infections, as well as advancements in treatment since the onset of the pandemic; however, members expressed concern about slowing rates of vaccination as more infectious variants continue to spread nationally.

The board welcomed the staff of the Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA), which represents osteopathic physicians statewide, as new tenants within the MHA headquarters building. MOA CEO and executive director, Kris Nicholoff, addressed the board and noted the longstanding and strong relationship between hospitals and the osteopathic community, which can be further strengthened through the new space-sharing arrangement.

The board also received a report on the status of healthcare funding priorities in the fiscal year 2022 state budget, which continue to be deliberated in the Legislature, as well as recent activities related to the statewide roll-out and provider concerns related to recent reforms to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law. Current Health PAC Chair and incoming MHA Board of Trustees Chair Tina Freese Decker provided an update on the status of the 2021 MHA Health PAC campaign, which has been extended through July 31. Freese Decker encouraged eligible individuals and organizations to meet their contribution goals. Information about the MHA Health PAC can be found online. The board also approved type 3 membership and Endorsed Business Partnership for NextJob, a nationwide reemployment solutions company.

The board concluded the meeting by acknowledging outgoing board members Edward Bruff, president & CEO, Covenant Healthcare, Saginaw; James (Chip) Falahee, senior vice president, Legal & Legislative Affairs, Bronson Healthcare Group, Kalamazoo; and David Jahn, president & CEO, War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste. Marie. The board also recognized outgoing chair Ed Ness, president & CEO, Munson Healthcare, Traverse City, for his leadership during such a challenging program year and extended its best wishes to incoming chair Tina Freese Decker, president & CEO, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, for a successful year ahead. For more information about actions of the MHA Board of Trustees, contact Amy Barkholz at the MHA.

MHA Board of Trustees Wraps up Program Year

Normally members would have gathered on Mackinac Island for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting in late June, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the association to conduct its business via a virtual format this year. The Board of Trustees held its final session of the program year via video conference June 24. Presentations from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC) co-chair, past MHA board chair and retired CEO of Henry Ford Health System Nancy Schlichting led the agenda. Other discussion items included a review of the association’s ongoing COVID-19 response, a state and federal advocacy report, an update on the work of the MHA Keystone Center and the Superior Health Quality Alliance, and the support for enhanced association data collection and analytics. 

Gov. Whitmer began her remarks by thanking the MHA, Michigan’s hospitals and health systems, and frontline healthcare workers for their leadership and input during this crisis, which she credited with saving thousands of lives. She noted the success Michigan has had in reducing the rate of infection and asked the hospital community to take a leadership role, as a trusted resource, in educating the public to remain vigilant and take necessary health precautions so progress can continue in opening the state’s economy. The governor also recognized the contribution of MHA CEO Brian Peters and several hospital CEO’s on the Healthcare Advisory Group of the MERC, which developed the framework for restarting the state’s economy. Schlichting followed the governor in providing a detailed overview of the council’s membership, methodology, data findings and recommendations that have informed the six phases of the state’s “MI Safe Start Plan.”

Following the guest presentations, the board assessed the association’s COVID-19 response, including a review of actions related to funding and advocacy, state and federal regulatory relief, payer regulatory relief, testing, personal protective equipment, data and communications, noting the MHA’s advocacy efforts have helped secure over $5.4 billion in federal and state funding relief for MHA members. While this funding relief has been significant, the MHA continues to advocate for additional federal relief for healthcare providers and states. The MHA has also helped secure $50 million in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget and is working to secure $250 million in the FY 2021 budget. However, the economic consequences of the pandemic has resulted in significant overall budget shortfalls in state budgets for both FYs 2020 and 2021, amounting to $2 billion and $3.5 billion respectively, so additional federal financial relief to states is critical.

The board also adopted a recommendation from its Enhanced Data Task Force, chaired by Tina Freese Decker, president & CEO, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids. The task force, which was convened in August 2019, recommended that Michigan hospitals work with the MHA to share claims transaction data and create enhanced data analytics to create a voluntary approach that leverages hospital data to improve healthcare costs, efficiency, quality and transparency and addresses issues related to COVID-19, health disparities, advocacy priorities, and the burden of data collection on members. The recommendation also called for the formation of an MHA Claims Data Advisory Committee to review procedures and safeguards to protect the privacy, integrity, confidentiality and availability of any data. Finally, the board approved the new MHA membership applications of Neon, a firm specializing in innovative technology solutions, as a type 3 member and Professional Credentials Exchange, LLC, an organization providing practitioner credentialing services, as an endorsed business partner of the MHA Service Corporation. Questions regarding the activities of the Board of Trustees should be directed to Amy Barkholz at the MHA.