MHA Monday Report May 1, 2023

MHA Monday Report

capitol buildingSubcommittee Budget Recommendations Include Hospital Priorities

The release of the Michigan Senate and House Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee budgets April 25 include broad investments in healthcare and specific investments advocated for by the MHA. The state budget is at …

Annual Meeting iconMHA Annual Membership Meeting Registration Open

Registration remains open for the 2023 MHA Annual Membership Meeting, scheduled June 28 through 30 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The annual meeting will feature an outstanding lineup of healthcare experts, including Brian …

Upcoming Grant Deadline for Pediatric Inpatient Behavioral Health Programs

The MHA issued a request for proposal March 16 for a $50 million competitive grant program for Michigan healthcare entities to expand access to pediatric inpatient behavioral health services. The funding was appropriated by …

OCR Ends HIPAA Telehealth Enforcement Discretion

The U.S. Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will end enforcement discretion for telehealth providers who utilize remote communication products that don’t comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of …

MHA Human Resources Member Forum Draws Hundreds

The MHA hosted a human resources member forum April 26 at the MHA Headquarters in Okemos and virtually with about 200 leaders participating. Moderators Patrick Irwin, vice president, human resources, South Market, Henry Ford Hospital …

New MHA Resource Outlines Scope of Practice for RNs & LPNs

To help members understand the difference in scope of practice between licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) under the Michigan Public Health Code, the MHA has developed a new member resource, Understanding LPN …

2023 Ludwig Nominee: Health Equity for LGBTQ+ Young People: A Collaboration between Henry Ford Health and Ruth Ellis Center

Since 1990, the MHA has honored member healthcare organizations working to enrich the overall welfare of their local communities through the Ludwig Community Benefit Award. This year, the MHA is excited …

Hillsdale Podcast Explores Hospital Financial Viability, Workforce Restoration and More

In conjunction with the MiCare Champion Cast, Hillsdale Hospital released an episode of the Rural Health Rising podcast April 27 featuring MHA CEO Brian Peters. Joining hosts Jeremiah Hodshire, CEO of Hillsdale Hospital, and Rachel …

Advocacy and Relationship Building Important Roles for Trustees

Governing board members are valuable spokespeople for their hospitals because they represent the voice of the community in support of important policy viewpoints and strategic positions. The MHA Board Governance Education webinar series, which includes …

The Keckley Report

Paul KeckleyThe Debt Ceiling Debate is Problematic for Healthcare

“Last week, 35,000 gathered in Chicago to hear about the future of health information technologies at the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition where generative AI, smart devices and cybersecurity were prominent themes. …

The upcoming debt ceiling debate comes at a pivotal time for healthcare because it does not enjoy the good will it has in decades past. The pandemic, dysfunctional political system and the struggling economy have taken a toll on public confidence. Long-term planning for the system’s future is subordinated to the near term imperative to control costs in the context of the debt ceiling debate. …“

Paul Keckley, April 24. 2023

News to Know

The Rural Health Redesign Center and Mathematica are hosting a webinar May 1 from 11 a.m. to noon ET for hospitals interested in the rural emergency hospital (REH) designation.

Sarah ScrantonMHA in the News

The MHA received media coverage the week of April 24 regarding the MHA Keystone Center’s work implementing the Age-friendly Health Systems initiative throughout Michigan and how Michigan health systems are utilizing foreign nurses to fill …

Media Recap: Age-friendly Hospital Systems and Nursing Shortages

Sarah Scranton

Sarah ScrantonThe MHA received media coverage the week of April 24 regarding the MHA Keystone Center’s work implementing the Age-friendly Health Systems initiative throughout Michigan and how Michigan health systems are utilizing foreign nurses to fill staffing shortages.

Second Wave Michigan published an article April 27 as part of their State of Health series about efforts being made throughout the state to make Michigan more age-friendly. Sarah Scranton, executive director of the MHA Keystone Center, discussed the importance of prioritizing the needs of Michigan’s aging population and how hospitals are adopting a framework to become more age-friendly.

“Older adults have very complex needs. It’s important that the medical field prioritizes what is important to the patient, not just what they think might be wrong,” said Scranton. “It’s really all about listening to the patient and taking what matters to them into consideration.”

The Detroit Free Press published a story April 28 focusing on how Henry Ford Health and other Michigan health systems are utilizing foreign nurses, particularly those from the Philippines, to fill staffing shortages in nursing. The article referenced two data points provided by the MHA, which includes the 27,000 job openings in Michigan hospitals according to a March 2023 MHA member survey and the loss of 1,700 staffed hospital beds in the state since the pandemic began.

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

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 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.