ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 5, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) and IHA, the region's leading physician group practice, both of Ann Arbor, Mich., today announced a strategic merger with the goal of developing a new integrated health network. The merger is expected to be effective on or before December 31, at which time IHA will be a member of SJMHS and will initially serve as the integrated physician enterprise for these St. Joseph Mercy Hospital markets: Washtenaw, Livingston and portions of western Wayne and south western Oakland counties.
IHA is the largest, fully integrated physician group practice in southeast Michigan, with best-in-class performance in care outcomes, patient loyalty and value. With more than 150 doctors and 40 nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives in 32 practices in 47 locations, IHA provides high quality medical care and excellent service to more than 250,000 active patients. IHA's employed physician, nursing and support staff totals 950 professionals.
SJMHS is one of the largest health care delivery systems in Michigan, with an excellent reputation for quality, safety and patient loyalty. It is comprised of seven hospitals spanning six southeast Michigan counties. SJMHS is licensed for 1,726 beds, has five outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities and more than 25 specialty centers. It employs more than 14,000 individuals and has a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.
"Our merger with IHA will create an integrated organization that will proactively advance clinical integration, patient-centered care, and community health. It will provide the framework and structure to increase the role of physicians in SJMHS leadership and operations," said Rob Casalou, President and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Livingston and Saline. "The merger will enable us to better prepare for rapid changes in health care delivery and financing stimulated by national health reform and lead to better coordinated care for our patients."
According to IHA President and CEO Bill Fileti, "IHA brings the leadership, culture, expertise and operating systems of a large, high performing, fully-integrated physician group practice. We look forward to developing the physician enterprise for St. Joe's in collaboration with many community physicians who are aligned with the hospital system. We believe this merger is in the best interest of our patients, providers and staff, and the communities we serve."
SJMHS provides the broad-based health care delivery system with the scale and resources to support the expansion and development of an ambulatory care delivery system for southeast Michigan. "By combining strengths, IHA and SJMHS will be able to advance the development of a delivery system that is responsive to the needs of patients and communities and the requirements for value expressed by health care purchasers," said Garry C. Faja, President and CEO, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.
"Hospitals and physicians together are facing future expectations for rapid improvements in quality of care and value as accountable health networks that would be difficult to achieve independently," noted Mary Durfee, MD, Quality Medical Director and President of IHA, PC. "This alignment will create a fully integrated health system able to deliver superior quality of care that is coordinated and safe."
St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor's Chief of Staff Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD, supports the planned merger. "St. Joe's has expressed a desire to partner with physicians to share goals, accountability and outcomes for patients across the entire continuum of care. This will distinguish St. Joe's as a premier patient-centered care management organization that is closely aligned with physicians."
Concurrently, IHA, SJMHS and its parent organization, Trinity Health, Novi, Mich. are accelerating affiliations and joint ventures with the University of Michigan Health System. "We view the University as our primary academic health system partner. We hope to collaborate on a full range of services and programs, such as pediatrics and medical education and the improvement of patient-centered primary and specialty care services," said Mike Slubowski, Trinity Health's President of Health Networks. The most recent example was the creation of the Pennant Health Alliance in West Michigan. Announced on September 22, Trinity Health, the University of Michigan Health System and Metro Health launched this new business-to-business support-services network, designed to strengthen independent community hospitals and physician practices. Slubowski also is leading Trinity Health's effort to create accountable health networks in the nine states in which Trinity Health operates.
IHA is one of the best and also largest private multi-specialty groups in southeast Michigan. IHA employs 950 physicians, nurses and support staff, including more than 150 doctors and 40 nurse practitioners across 32 practices. IHA provides high quality medical care and excellent service to more than 250,000 patients. Recognized as one of Michigan's top performing medical groups, IHA also ranks in the top 20th percentile for patient satisfaction nationally. Offering extended office hours, After Hours Care, and access to clinical research studies, IHA demonstrates that it cares by bringing safe, high quality, comprehensive and affordable care to its patients. For more information about IHA, visit
About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a newly expanded health care organization serving southeast Michigan. Health coverage spans six counties, including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline. Combined, the seven hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have five outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians. SJMHS is a member of Trinity Health. For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit and become a fan of the SJMHS Facebook page.
About Trinity Health
Trinity Health is Michigan's leading health care provider and one of the state's largest employers, providing the full continuum of care for Michigan's residents, with 14 hospitals, nine nursing homes, 19 senior housing facilities, eight home health care agencies and four hospices serving 35 counties. More than 25,000 associates provide care to one in 11 Michigan residents. With a national headquarters in Novi, Trinity Health is an economic engine for the state with nearly $1.1 billion in payroll.
Trinity Health is a leader in quality and safety improvements with 90 percent of its clinical quality indicators above the mean. Trinity Health has pioneered a comprehensive health care IT initiative and has successfully launched electronic health record systems in 9 Michigan hospitals. Operationally, Trinity Health is reducing the cost of care through aggressive expense reduction, smarter purchasing and improvements in efficiency.
As a not-for-profit health system, Trinity Health reinvests its profits back into the community through programs to serve the poor and uninsured, manage chronic conditions like diabetes, health education and promotion initiatives, and outreach for the elderly. In fiscal year 2010, this included more than $455 million in such community benefits.
Nationally, Trinity Health is the fourth-largest Catholic health care system with 46 acute-care hospitals, 379 outpatient facilities, 33 long-term care facilities, and numerous home health offices and hospice programs based in seven states. Employing 47,000 full-time staff, Trinity Health reported $7.0 billion in unrestricted revenue in fiscal year 2010. For more information about Trinity Health, visit and become a fan of the Trinity Health Facebook page.
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CONTACT: Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Lauren Stokes 734-712-4033 firstname.lastname@example.org IHA Amy Middleton 734-327-0877 Amy_middleton@IHAcares.com