Relationships in Medicine

“Anything happen in your day? Anything new happening at work?”

After an extended deliberate process by leadership of Beaumont Health System and our own, Henry Ford Health System, leadership of both organizations announced a plan Wednesday to begin exclusive negotiations to create a new organization merging our operations into a new organization, to serve as a new model of health care delivery.

From left: Beaumont CEO Gene Michalski; HFHS CEO Nancy Schlichting; Beaumont CMO Dr. Ananias Diokno; Me; HFHS Board of Trustees Chair Sandy Pierce; and Beaumont Board of Trustees Chair Steve Howard at Wednesday’s press conference.

The Boards for Henry Ford and Beaumont approved a letter of intent to develop this new organization, and to enter a period of negotiations and due diligence to determine how best to bring the systems together. The goal is to create a definitive agreement for approval in the first half of 2013.

So when we go home and our spouse asks what happened at work today, we can say something more than, “Nothing, really.”

Here are comments I shared at the press conference announcing this event…

Medicine and health care create strong relationships.

Through those relationships, Henry Ford has had a long history of collaborating with Beaumont on patient care, education and research.

Many Beaumont physicians and my colleagues, including me, cared for patients together, patients who received their health care in both systems, systems with histories of clinical strength and deeply shared values.

Combining these two national leaders in clinical excellence and patient safety will transform our focus from not only healing the sick but to keeping people and our communities healthy.

The prospect of what we can do together for patients is exciting, especially opportunities to improve population health through quality, safety, integration and premier clinical programs.

This partnership can provide:

  • A comprehensive service offering to our patients with ample coverage throughout the full spectrum of medical specialties,  as well as
  • Greater access to care with broad selection of clinical sites close to home wherever you live in Southeastern Michigan.

With the installation to the EPIC electronic medical record throughout Henry Ford, both Beaumont and Henry Ford will have a common integrated medical record across all clinical sites.

  • With a common electronic medical record, patients will always be treated by a clinician who knows their history, no matter which site they visit, because their patient records will be at the clinician’s fingertips.
  • This common electronic record enhances patient safety, reduces duplication of test and services, and increase patient satisfaction.

Today’s announcement follows months of study and deliberation by both organizations on how to continue their nationally recognized industry leadership in the face of the changing health care environment.

The details of the letter of intent approved by both organizations include:

Governance: The new organization will be led by a single board with equal representation from both organizations. The new board will include physician and nursing leaders from both organizations, as well as community and business leaders and health experts. A special committee comprised of representatives from both boards will oversee the integration of the two partners into a unified health system.

Name Preservation: The two organizations will continue to use their highly respected brand names. A name for the new organization, which will be used to link the two established names, will be developed by both parties.

A Combined Foundation: The existing Beaumont Foundation and the Henry Ford Foundation will develop a plan to combine into a single foundation.  Donors will still be able to designate gifts to the hospital or programs of their choice. The designated uses of prior gifts will be honored and the naming of facilities, chairs and programs maintained.

Medical Staffs: Medical staffs from both entities will remain independent. Physician groups in both health systems are highly respected for providing benchmark quality care. The new organization will embrace the strengths of private practice, group practice and employed physicians in an environment that fosters respect, quality, safety and collaboration.

Research: A collaborative research program will enhance education and discovery, bringing great value to this region by attracting researchers and funding.

Medical Schools: Medical education will remain a primary mission with continued commitment to all existing medical school relationships. Collaborative opportunities will be pursued to maximize value to the organization and the community.

The two organizations will begin an extensive integration process led by committees covering such areas as quality, medical staff, efficiency and information technology, all which will be overseen by a newly formed board integration committee, which will include membership from Henry Ford and Beaumont.

I encourage you to visit to learn more about our new relationship with Beaumont.

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2 thoughts on “Relationships in Medicine

  1. I would just like to express how much I appreciate who you are Dr Popovich. You are so full of energy and share it with everyone. I know that other administrators are busy busy busy including you (especially after the addition to your job just lately) but you still find time to lift people around you up and share so much of yourself. You seem “real” to me. I admire you immensely and want you to know you help me to strive to be a better person each day (like you). Thanks!

  2. I have to submit a very heartfelt ditto to Frances Mastal’s comments! I have watched you interact with “the man on the street” at HF Main Campus and admire the kindness and graciousness you show to those around you.

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