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Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Senior Writer

[email protected]

Friday, 08 June 2012 23:17

MFB grows state network

WEST MICHIGAN — The latest addition to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's statewide care network may very well transition into an acquisition and potentially lead to further expansion in the region.

Under a letter of intent between the two, Mary Free Bed can acquire a controlling stake in the Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center in Battle Creek at any time. At this point, Mary Free Bed is proceeding with the notion that an acquisition will eventually occur, CEO Kent Riddle said.

Saturday, 09 June 2012 00:00

Area hospitals plagued by rising costs

WEST MICHIGAN — Bad debt and uncompensated care at hospitals across Michigan moved higher during the recession, a cost that eventually creeps into the premiums employers pay for health coverage.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association's annual community benefits report shows bad debt across the state totaled $609.7 million for the 2010 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data were analyzed. The total represents an increase of $54 million from the prior year.

KALAMAZOO — What started as a simple inquiry to clients on how they communicate their workplace wellness program to employees turned into a larger project for Shawn Connors over the last year. 

The result is an eBook from Connors, president of the Kalamazoo health care communications company Hope Health. The eBook offers five "concrete" steps for employers on how to get their work force involved in living healthier.

Sunday, 01 July 2012 14:22

Snyder unveils wellness plan

WEST MICHIGAN — A state initiative to improve nutrition for young children and their physical fitness launches a broader effort by Gov. Rick Snyder to reduce Michigan's burgeoning obesity rate that costs billions annually in medical claims and drives up health premiums.

Introduced this month, the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 by 4 Plan relies largely on education and public awareness to further the governor's message of health and wellness, which comes at a time when nearly one-third of the state's residents are obese.

WYOMING — A new chief medical officer signs on with Metro Health as health care providers adjust to perhaps the largest period of change ever seen. 

Dave Duffey, MD, joined the Wyoming, Mich.-based Metro Health in July from Spectrum Health, where he worked for nearly eight years, most recently as director of the pediatric hospitalist program and director of safety, quality and clinical innovation at the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's planned $51.3 million expansion and renovation project represents the largest health care construction project in West Michigan in some time.

Construction overall in the region, as with much of the nation, still remains soft following the recession, and health care projects the last few years have primarily involved small developments such as nursing homes and medical office buildings.

After improving profitability during 2011 and in the first quarter of 2012, Macatawa Bank Corp. is in far better shape financially and positioned to eventually begin growing again in the future. 

WEST MICHIGAN — The state of the venture capital industry in Michigan is best summed up in four words: more investors, more money.

Michigan is now home to 20 venture-capital firms, up from 15 just three years earlier, according to the Michigan Venture Capital Association's annual report that details continued growth in the industry. Another seven firms based elsewhere have an office in Michigan.

Sunday, 03 June 2012 10:56

Wanted: Experienced accountants

WEST MICHIGAN — It's not that he can't find the right person for a job opening. 

Dennis Echelbarger just needs to look a little harder and take a little longer to find an accountant with the experience he needs.

WEST MICHIGAN — The pending acquisition of 21 offices from Independent Bank extends Chemical Financial Corp.'s footprint across the Michigan and furthers its ongoing expansion and growth strategy. 

The Midland-based parent company of Chemical Bank will pay about $12.4 million to acquire six Independent Bank offices in Battle Creek and 15 in Northeast Michigan. Under the deal, Chemical Bank will assume about $420 million in customer deposits, pushing total deposits statewide to nearly $6 billion. Chemical will also acquire about $40 million in loans and expand its branch network to 163 offices across the Lower Peninsula.

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