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.

MHA CEO Report — Stronger Together

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” ― Helen Keller

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOThe arrival of summer signifies the completion of the MHA’s program year. During this time, the association reviews our many accomplishments related to the core issues reflected in our strategic action plan. These accomplishments directly benefit not only our members, but the patients and communities that we collectively serve as well. As we went through the process this year — a year that was still heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic — a key theme resonated throughout: the MHA, and the health of our communities, is strengthened by collaboration and stakeholders working together.

“Stronger together” is the theme of the MHA’s 2021-2022 Annual Report. It encapsulates how integrated healthcare truly is, whether reflected by partnerships between health systems throughout the state, with our partners at other associations, or through external stakeholders in public health and government. As I have said many times in the past year, our work in this challenging environment is truly an all-hands-on-deck affair. With that in mind, stronger together also addresses the value of the amazing staff at the MHA and how we collectively could not achieve our goals without the expertise, talent and teamwork of our various divisions. Lastly, I must thank Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of BHSH System and the 2021-2022 MHA Board of Trustees chair, for her exceptional leadership during this program year. Tina provided direction and influence in both the crafting of the strategic action plan, as well as the tactics that we used to meet our goals.

During the year in review, our members had to navigate multiple COVID-19 surges and the most significant workforce crisis I’ve experienced throughout my professional career. However, vaccine access was available to most of our population and new therapeutics became available that have truly improved health outcomes for those infected by COVID-19. In addition, as the focus and attention of our society and lawmakers slowly pivoted away from the pandemic, we devoted significant energy and resources to a host of other important issues including workforce sustainability, health equity, data strategy, behavioral health and more. Collectively, these efforts have supported our association mission and helped to advance the health of individuals and communities.

It is my pleasure to share the completed MHA 2021-2022 Annual Report that goes into greater detail on the strategic objectives and how the MHA met and addressed each task head-on. This summary makes me extremely proud to work with an incredible organization that unquestionably has provided value to our members and made a real difference in our state.

As COVID-19 moves closer to an endemic stage, we have entered a “new normal” phase in the healthcare landscape, which brings unique opportunities to significantly improve how care is designed, delivered and reimbursed. In the coming months, the MHA will establish our specific priorities and strategies for the new program year — and I can promise that we will address all of those priorities with the same intense focus, professionalism and commitment that the MHA has always displayed. And we will do it together.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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.