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Bill Manns will leave his post as president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s for a position leading St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston in Southeast Michigan. He’s led the Grand Rapids hospital since 2013. Bill Manns will leave his post as president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s for a position leading St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston in Southeast Michigan. He’s led the Grand Rapids hospital since 2013. COURTESY PHOTO

Departing Saint Mary’s president leaves hospital ‘in outstanding shape’

BY Saturday, September 15, 2018 09:25pm

Manns to lead St. Joseph Mercy hospitals in SE Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS — Bill Manns’ pending departure from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s to run sister hospitals in Southeast Michigan came about as the result of both a professional and personal decision.

The president at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids since 2013, Manns transitions in mid October to become president of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston, a larger health system also owned by Livonia-based Trinity Health.

“It’s one of the benefits of being with a national health system. As opportunities for growth come up, you’re informed about them and encouraged to consider them, and that’s what happened in this case,” said Manns, who returned to Michigan from California five years ago to lead Mercy Health Saint Mary’s following the retirement of long-time President Phil McCorkle.

In his new position, Manns will lead St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, which includes a 537-bed academic hospital and tertiary care center that’s presently undergoing a $24 million renovation and expansion project at its cancer center, and the 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston community hospital.

The move to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston also puts Manns, a Detroit native and University of Michigan graduate, closer to home and family.

“I obviously love Grand Rapids. I love Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. It’s really been a tough choice,” he said. “It’s reassuring and heartwarming to know that I can be close to family and still be part of the Trinity family at the same time.”

Manns’ selection as president of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston came after Trinity Health interviewed “several outstanding candidates,” stated Rob Casalou, president and CEO of both Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health in West Michigan, which combined comprise Trinity Health’s operations in Michigan.

“In the end, Bill’s qualities as an accomplished, dynamic and collegial leader with an impressive track record for results make him an ideal choice to lead St. Joe’s Ann Arbor and Livingston. We are excited to have a leader of Bill’s expertise and strong ties to Southeast Michigan,” Casalou said in a statement.

Trinity Health intends to appoint an interim leader at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and has started assembling a team of board members, physicians and senior leaders across Mercy Health to conduct a search for a permanent president, spokeswoman Laura Blodgett wrote in an email to MiBiz.

“As always, we will look first within our existing ranks for a possible candidate to replace Bill as president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, and then use the service of a national executive search firm, if necessary,” Blodgett wrote.

CONTINUED GROWTH

During Manns’ time as president, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s developed a new $50 million surgical suite, renovated the main hospital’s maternity ward, opened an outpatient and primary care campus in Rockford, and developed a similar campus in Hudsonville that opens in October as the regional Mercy Health system seeks to build a greater market presence in Ottawa County.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s also continued its work to better integrate and coordinate care with Mercy Health Muskegon. Senior leadership teams in Grand Rapids and Muskegon “worked together almost seamlessly,” as Trinity moved to create a single brand in the West Michigan market under the Mercy Health umbrella and drive efficiencies and greater continuity of care across the broader region.

Manns ends his tenure as Mercy Health Saint Mary’s sits in “outstanding shape,” both financially and clinically. Saint Mary’s under his watch twice made the annual list of 100 Top Hospitals in the nation compiled by Ann Arbor-based IBM Watson Health, formerly known as Truven Health Analytics, as well as earned other awards for clinical quality.

“In many ways, the competitive landscape in West Michigan has always been very, very competitive and it remains that way to this day. I think that’s beneficial to the community overall,” Manns said. “The quality of health care in West Michigan is at a level that many other communities should be jealous of, quite frankly. That competition really has led to high-quality health care being delivered.”

POSITIONED FOR THE FUTURE

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s includes the medical campus south of downtown, which is comprised of its main acute care hospital, the adjoining Richard J. Lacks Sr. Cancer Center and the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center, the latter of which extended to the lakeshore in 2016 with the opening of a neurology clinic in Grand Haven. Saint Mary’s employs more than 4,000 people and has a medical staff of more than 500 employed and affiliated physicians.

Manns credits his predecessor, McCorkle, for doing an “amazing job” at Saint Mary’s in a “very, very competitive” West Michigan health care market, enabling him in turn to meet a goal of “leaving an organization a little bit better than you found it.”

“I view my time as really protecting and enhancing the culture here at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s,” Manns said. “The organization — from a quality perspective, from a financial perspective, and from a colleague engagement perspective — is really in outstanding shape.”

In its most recent fiscal year, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s had $1.08 billion in gross patient revenues, plus $298.1 million in non-patient revenues, and recorded $95.4 million in net income for the 2017 fiscal year, according to Louisville, Ky.-based American Hospital Directory Inc.

Manns is the third health system leader in the Grand Rapids market this year to depart.

Rick Breon retired Aug. 31 as president and CEO at Spectrum Health. He was succeeded by Tina Freese Decker. As well, Dr. Peter Hahn becomes the new president and CEO at Metro Health-University of Michigan Health System on Oct. 1, succeeding long-time retiring CEO Mike Faas.

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a typo in Mercy Health Saint Mary’s net income for the 2017 fiscal year. 

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