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Sparrow Health officials reflect on hospital's merger with Michigan Medicine

Sparrow Health Systems is joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
WKAR File Photo
Sparrow Health Systems is joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

More than one year after merging to become one of Michigan's largest health care systems, officials at the Sparrow Health are signaling their optimism about joining with University of Michigan Health. The union placed U-M Health's value over $7 billion.

Sparrow's board of directors approved the Lansing hospital's merger with Michigan Medicine in November 2022, which was officially approved by the university last April. At the time, Michigan Medicine committed $800 million over the next eight years to support the union.

Since the two systems joined, Sparrow has been able to hire its own anesthesiologist and open more operating rooms for patient surgeries, says Margaret Diamond, regional president of the University of Michigan Regional Health Network.

"Now with the regionalization, we do have the resources that we can plan and execute having specialists serving the patients locally, rather than having them travel 45 minutes to an hour for specialty care," Diamond explained.

Sparrow previously ran a multi-year waiting list for patients in need of reconstructive breast surgery. The hospital plans to roll out specialty services in the next six months as officials work to reduce wait times.

The hospital is also in the beginning stages of planning for an expansion to address overcrowding issues at the emergency department.

"The four to five-floor tower would house a new emergency department that's more state-of-the-art and has more capacity for patients, as well as a mother-baby labor delivery and neonatal intensive care unit," Diamond said.

Since the merger, the hospital has laid off four Sparrow executive positions.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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