Sparrow, University of Michigan Health detail partnership announcement

There will be more maize and blue just down the street from Michigan State University.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 9:52 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - People across Mid-Michigan will soon have easier access to more specialized healthcare.

Sparrow Health System will join Michigan Medicine, formerly the University of Michigan Health System, in a new partnership. Together, the two will become one of the largest healthcare organizations in the state, valued at more than $7 billion with over 200 sites.

Background: Sparrow Health System to join Michigan Medicine in new partnership

“Sparrow has a 126-year commitment to providing world-class care close to home,” said Sparrow Health System Board Chair John Pirich. “This will only be enhanced under this partnership. By joining this nationally and internationally renowned health system we are making it easier and more convenient to access the highest quality compassionate care right here at home.”

During a press conference Friday morning, leaders from Sparrow and the University of Michigan said all doctors and nurses will stay with Sparrow and the partnership could help fill some of those hard-to-find nurses and doctors.

The agreement also won’t change the partnership Sparrow has with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

“You know, we’re hopeful. This is kind of exciting news that just came out,” said Dexter Baker, a nurse at Sparrow. “Both of these are top-line facilities in the two areas and they can help provide a lot of resources for us.”

Those resources come from the $800 million Michigan Medicine plans to invest in Sparrow to improve buildings and the construction of a new surgical center over the next eight years.

“I see the possibility of expanded clinical services, access to clinical trials and research and translational medicine that brings advances into the community at a faster pace,” said UM Health president Dr. David Miller. “It’s important that we continue to take this partnership and make it easier for patients who need particularly complex or specialty care.”

Patients said they’re happy to see the new partnership. Julie James said she thinks it’s awesome and is happy her care will be backed by UM, which now could include more specialty care.

Sparrow officials said patients will not have to change their doctor or their insurance with the new partnership, and patients in Mid-Michigan will have access to more specialty care without traveling to Ann Arbor.

For Baker, he doesn’t see much change for patients who rely on Sparrow for care.

“Everyone in this building, we love our patients, we love our community,” Baker said. “We’re excited to be able to add those resources.”

It is expected that the agreement will be completed in the first half of 2023, pending final regulatory approvals and closing processes.

Sparrow Health created a website with frequently asked questions regarding the new partnership. It can be found here.

UM Health entered into a similar agreement with Metro Health in Grand Rapids, which is now known as UM West.

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