Merger to create $3.8 billion Michigan healthcare organization moves forward

The three individual boards of Southeast Michigan’s Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare unanimously approved a merger plan and the three healthcare systems’ leaders signed the definitive merger agreement this week.

According to the terms of the agreement, the new merged not-for-profit Michigan health system will be called Beaumont Health. The Beaumont name was chosen over Botsford and Oakwood after independent market research showed that its brand had the strongest regional and national recognition. In addition, there is a strong local historical connection to the name Beaumont as it comes from the 19th century U.S. Army surgeon William Beaumont, M.D., whose work in Michigan on human digestion became world renowned.

The merger will bring together eight hospitals and 153 other patient care sites with the goal of creating a “comprehensive, collaborative health system focused on advancing quality and access to care throughout the region.” For the time being, the names of the individual hospitals in the system — Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; Beaumont Hospital, Troy; Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe; Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills; Oakwood Hospital-Dearborn; Oakwood Hospital-Southshore; Oakwood Hospital-Taylor; and Oakwood Hospital-Wayne — will remain in place with possible re-branding or linking to the Beaumont name occurring in the future.

“We recognize and respect the community’s connection with these legacy names and their strength within their markets. So, we will take our time and seek inside and outside counsel in developing a plan for communicating the new brand,” stated Beaumont President and CEO Gene Michalski in the press release.

Michalski will serve as initial CEO of the new health system and chair the CEO Council, where Oakwood CEO Brian Connolly and Botsford CEO Paul LaCasse, D.O., will also serve as chief transition executive and clinical transition executive respectively. During the transition period, plans call for Connolly and Dr. LaCasse to remain as president and CEO of their respective organizations. However, a single board and executive leadership structure will eventually govern the whole organization.

“The work to integrate these three great organizations, while challenging, is progressing well,” Connolly noted in the press release. “We see the signs that we are indeed creating the health care system of the future — a system in which population health can truly be impacted in a very positive way while increasing quality and value for every family we are fortunate to serve.”