The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine achieved significant milestones in 2018. Among them: Receiving full accreditations from The Higher Learning Commission and the Liaison Committee of Medical Education, plus graduating its inaugural class of 48 medical students in May, all of whom were placed in residencies across the country. Since opening in 2014, the medical school — commonly known as WMed — has ramped up to peak capacity of 84 students per incoming class. After “quite a great year” in 2018, founding Dean Hal Jenson said WMed is now focused on improving and building on the foundation that’s been established.
The past year confirmed to Toni Sperlbaum that workplace wellness is beginning to move in a new direction. Rather than focus on diet, exercise, and financial incentives for increasing participation and progress toward health goals, some employer wellness programs locally now take a broader approach. They encompass mental health, financial well-being and intrinsic motivation to encourage employees to maintain or improve their health, said Sperlbaum, the vice president of wellness at Health Plan Advocate in Grand Rapids. She expects that trend to pick up, albeit slowly, in West Michigan during the next year.
Tina Freese Decker became president and CEO at Spectrum Health on Sept. 1 following the retirement of Rick Breon. She leads West Michigan’s largest health system as the industry adapts to a combination of forces driving change, including greater consumerism and personalizing care to individual patients. As well, the industry has shifted to focus on keeping people healthy rather than treating them when they’re ill or injured, an economic model that rewards quality and pays care providers for outcomes rather than volume. Spectrum Health in 2018 moved into the Southwestern Michigan market with the merger of Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, and this fall formed a new partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
GRAND RAPIDS — A $40 million investment by a Japanese pharmaceutical company provides Tetra Discovery Partners Inc. a strategic partner and capital to test and commercialize a new drug compound that could treat Alzheimer’s disease and a form of autism.
Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC, the developer of a device to improve patient safety during a heart procedure, closed on $8 million in capital raised to support clinical trials and production.
MUSKEGON — By forming academic partnerships for a new medical clinic in Muskegon, Mercy Health aims to extend primary care where it’s needed and to create a talent pipeline of future health care workers.
Ada physician Ronald Kufner was among six doctors indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations they illegally prescribed 13.2 million doses of opioid pain medications and billed Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan a collective $464.3 million over nearly six years.
Backers of a law mandating paid sick leave in Michigan say they’ll launch a new petition drive to put the issue on the 2020 ballot if lawmakers weaken it during the lame-duck legislative session in Lansing.
Against the backdrop of West Michigan’s nascent medical device industry and an expanding array of resources, high-tech health care startups are finding the tools they need to start and grow their businesses in the region.
The lame-duck session of Congress offers the opportunity for advocates to finally convince lawmakers to repeal a federal tax on medical devices.
West Michigan’s medical device manufacturers are reaching a tipping point. The region’s fledgling industry has begun to mature, especially around contract manufacturing, which draws on the legacy of industrial knowledge across West Michigan.
GRAND RAPIDS — Hal Zaima’s innovation seeks to address a lingering and serious problem in health care: infections acquired in hospitals that lead to the deaths of thousands of patients annually.
KALAMAZOO — Two deals that closed in recent weeks typify medical device firm Stryker Corp.’s acquisition strategy.
Affiliating with the University of Michigan Health System nearly two years ago gave Metro Health a partner to grow and become a larger player in the West Michigan health care market.
HOLLAND — Venture capital fund Cultivate(MD) Capital Fund II LP of Holland has invested in Medical Ingenuities LLC, a Wheaton, Ill.-based early-stage medical device company.
GRAND RAPIDS — A new agreement for collaboration formalizes ties and sets the foundation for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Spectrum Health to work closer together.
GRAND RAPIDS — The psychiatric urgent care center that Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services plans to open next spring represents the first step toward broadening access to behavioral health care across West Michigan.
If the national numbers are any indication, employers can generally expect to pay moderately more to provide employee health coverage next year, although any increase comes on top of a cost that is already higher than ever.
MUSKEGON — As the first phase of a $291 million expansion and renovation project at the Mercy Hospital campus begins to open, Mercy Health wants to start gathering ideas for the future of the Hackley Hospital campus a few miles away.
More hospitals than ever in Michigan earned a top grade in a semi-annual report card on patient safety.
Spectrum Health and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital are forming a “deeper relationship” to work together on research and coordinating patient care.
GRAND RAPIDS — With a new project, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Michigan are laying the foundation for further research collaborations.
GRAND RAPIDS — A new women’s health center Metro Health-University of Michigan Health System plans to open later this year will increase patients’ access to care in eastern Kent County.
GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health’s venture capital arm joined other groups to invest $20 million into a California company that developed a medical device to accurately measure blood loss during surgeries and births.
Grand Valley State University plans to begin work next week on a $70 million addition to its health campus along Michigan Street east of downtown.
Two trade groups debuted a new association health plan for Michigan small businesses as employers prepare to enter the annual open enrollment period for 2019 health insurance policies.
The association health plan created by two trade groups representing small businesses in Michigan offers a new option for employers to consider for their employee health benefits.
Dr. David Baumgartner will serve as interim president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s until a successor is hired to replace departing President Bill Manns.
Lakeland Health today became a part of Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health as the two finalized a merger agreement.
The $8 million that Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC wants to raise in a new capital round would support completion of a clinical trial in Europe and pay for an upcoming U.S. trial.
More than 2,600 Michigan residents died in 2017 from an opioid overdose. That’s an increase of more than 80 percent over the last five years, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, the CDC reports that more than 42,000 people died in 2016 from drug overdoses that involved opioids, obtained both legally and illegally. Benefits firm Hylant Group Inc. recently published a risk assessment scorecard on opioids for employers. MiBiz spoke with Guylaine Donavan, a client executive and vice president at Hylant’s Grand Rapids office, about the opioid epidemic.
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.
Federal rules issued this summer widen an avenue for small businesses to offer employee health benefits by making it easier for them to unite to form an association health plan.
THINKING BIG: Rick Breon reflects on 18 years leading West Michigan’s largest health care organizationWritten by Mark Sanchez
Before Spectrum Health grew into what it has become today, Rick Breon first had to tackle a fundamental issue that he saw standing in the way: culture.
GRAND RAPIDS — A new business arm gives Spectrum Health the ability to delve deeper into commercializing medical innovations alongside other health systems across the nation.
GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health and a Colorado company have reached an agreement to settle a federal lawsuit over use of the MedNow name for telehealth services.
Spectrum Health is asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Denver-area company that alleged the West Michigan-based MedNow telemedicine service infringes on its trademark.
LANSING — The Michigan Retailers Association wanted to offer its members a way to keep good employees in an industry that frequently struggles with high turnover.
GRAND RAPIDS — After building a solid membership base in the first year, Spectrum Health wants to grow its downtown primary care practice by appealing directly to employers.