UMHS welcomes Metro Health to U-M

December 15, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Michigan Medicine News,

Metro Health CEO Mike Faas shares his thoughts on the future of health care in west Michigan.

Previously, the board of directors of Metro Health Corporation and the regents of the University of Michigan approved a definitive affiliation agreement, setting the stage for Metro Health to join the U-M Health System.

Today, that deal is final. Metro Health is officially a part of the U-M family. Together, Metro Health and UMHS will create a clinical care network that builds upon the strengths of the world-class U-M academic medical center and a very successful community-based health system.

The two organizations will focus on bringing increased health care innovation to west Michigan and beyond.

To learn more about Metro Health, Metro Chief Executive Officer Mike Faas provided some insights and thoughts about his organization and its future.

Q: There are several major health care providers in the Grand Rapids area. What makes Metro Health unique and special?

MF: All of the hospitals in the Grand Rapids area are known for delivering high-quality health care. Metro is the only hospital in town to have been named a Clean Corporate Citizen, one of America’s most beautiful hospitals on multiple occasions, and we are located in a health care village. Metro Health was founded in 1942 by a group of 23 osteopathic physicians. In our 74 years, we’ve never lost our physician and clinically-driven focus.

Patients and our community say the care they receive at Metro Health is different. We are known for having a family-oriented culture — for both employees and patients. Patients say they feel like they’re treated as real people, instead of just as numbers or faceless patients. They say their Metro caregivers are personable and friendly. Many of our employees have long employment records with us. They talk about knowing they make a difference in the lives of our patients and truly liking their colleagues.

We are also known for our green thinking and sustainable business practices. We designed and built the hospital to achieve LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — certification. Throughout the hospital, you’ll find small and large features that add up to big environmental impacts. From natural light streaming through windows, a garden on campus, a robust composting program, efforts to green the OR, an almost one-acre green roof, rain gardens and more, we’re living our promise to care for our community by being good stewards of the environment.

Q: How do you best describe your leadership philosophy at Metro Health?

MF: I’m a believer in hiring good, talented people and giving them the tools they need to be successful. I believe in looking forward, instead of being focused on the past. Of course we can learn from the past, but we need to focus our energy forward instead of backward.

I also believe that when people perform, we need to reward them with opportunities to grow their careers.

In any organization, the test of true leadership happens when things are not easy. Real leaders set the vision and direction of an organization and surround themselves with people who make things happen and move forward — even when faced with challenges. I’m proud of Metro’s leadership team and front-line employees because they have repeatedly risen to challenges and made Metro an even better place.

When I started at Metro more than 20 years ago, I didn’t imagine being here this long. Today, I can’t imagine being anywhere else, and I hope many of our employees make Metro their career home.

Q: What is the greatest potential for Metro Health and its patients stemming from the affiliation with UMHS?

MF: This affiliation creates a huge opportunity for patients and Metro. By working together, U-M and Metro can provide patients and the west Michigan community access to — and choice between — more and better care than ever before. Providing access and choice benefits not only patients but also employers who depend on their employees to be healthy and on providers to be competitive. Together, we can grow our reach in both the primary and specialty care areas. We will benefit from learning from each other and raising the bar for care throughout Michigan.

Q: How do you think the U-M brand will be received in the Grand Rapids area?

MF: I know the west Michigan community is excited about U-M entering the market. Everywhere I go — business meetings, out with my family, social gatherings and more — people stop and talk to me about the affiliation and how happy they are to see Metro grow and to see U-M coming here. They enthusiastically say Metro is affiliating with the most recognized brand in the entire state.

By improving access and ensuring choice in the market, this affiliation will impact west Michigan for decades to come. Both the community at large and the Metro community are excited for our future.

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