St. Joseph Mercy of Chelsea and University of Michigan Health System Celebrate Joint Venture

Leadership from St. Joesph Mercy Chelsea and the University of Michigan Health System pose together in the courtyard at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. They came together for a tree planting celebrating the new joint venture between the two systems.

By: Seth Kinker,

On Wednesday, Aug. 15 leaders from St. Joseph Mercy of Chelsea and the University of Michigan Health System gathered in the courtyard of St. Joseph Mercy to celebrate the new joint venture between the two health systems.

The joint venture, announced in March, partnered Saint Joseph Mercy Health and the Michigan Medicine – the academic medical center of the University of Michigan brings the two together to meet local area needs.

“Working together means that we can provide care together and not duplicate resources,” said Nancy Graebner, President and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, to The Sun Times on Aug. 15. “As well as bring new services to Chelsea so it’s a perfect match. Michigan Medicine has had some capacity issues and we can help them with that. We’re all going to use our assets to the best of our abilities to service our communities, we’re excited.”

As a result of the partnership, more surgical offerings will be available at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, patients and residents in western Washtenaw County will have increased access to Michigan Medicine physicians, and more operating rooms and other services are planned for the future.

“We’ve got six operating rooms right now and we’re building two more,” said Graebner. “We’ve already mapped out what operating rooms nine and ten would look like and where they would be. If you look at the trends, inpatient healthcare is really shifting to outpatient care, we’re really getting our campus ready for that and getting ready to service the community in the way its most cost-effective where we can get people in and out quickly. That’s what everyone wants. It’s a perfect match at a perfect time and it came together at the right time.”

A seventh operation room is planned to open in the fall of 2019, with the eighth opening in the spring of 2020, and there are plans to have a robot to be able to do robotic urological, gynecological, and general surgery cases.

As a result of the recently finished remodeling of the behavioral health unit, lab, and pharmacies, and the planned construction on that end of the campus, additional parking will be added to help make more room for patients and families.

Over 100 members of both teams attended the celebration; The board of directors, the leadership teams that helped make the transition plan, the team members of the five implementation teams that helped make the transition plan come to life, members from the regional board and system office, Michigan Medicine leadership team, physicians on the job that day, Chelsea City Council members, and the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce were just some of the entities represented at the celebration.

The celebration was commemorated with words from Graebner, Rob Casalou (President and CEO, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health), David Spahlinger (President, University of Michigan Health System), a reflection from Rev. Kathy Schell (MDiv, BCC, Director, Mission Services, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea). A ceremonial tree was planted by the leadership team from St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea and Michigan Medicine.

“We plant this tree in celebration of our new joint venture, it’s totally appropriate because trees are part of our Chelsea legacy,” said Schell. “It’s obvious we will have to care for this tree if is to flourish and grow. I think it’s also obvious that we need to care for one another if our joint venture is to flourish and grow. Caring together, not ‘we and they’, not ‘us and them’. Together, all of us, because caring is what we are about. And together, that’s how we do it.”



Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

Leave a Reply