The combination is designed to enhance care offerings and increase patient access in the Thumb
CASS CITY, DECKERVILLE, AND MARLETTE, Mich. (November 1, 2023) – Today, the leaders and respective boards of Hills & Dales Healthcare (Hills & Dales General Hospital) and United Healthcare Partners (Deckerville Community Hospital, Marlette Regional Hospital and The Heartlands Marlette Senior Living) announced that they have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to combine the organizations. Together, the organizations plan to improve the delivery of care to the communities they serve.
Angie McConnachie, CEO of United Healthcare Partners, said, “Given the fast pace of change and innovation in the healthcare industry, as well as the financial and operational headwinds that as healthcare providers we all face, we must evolve to continue to meet the needs of our community for the long-term. We found a partner of like values in Hills & Dales, who is just as committed to providing high-quality local care as we are. We look forward to working together to ensure we can continue to care for our friends, families and neighbors for generations to come.”
“In this era of rural hospital closures, we recognize that we have to be nimble to continue offering the level of care our patients deserve,” said Andy Daniels, President & CEO of Hills & Dales Healthcare. “As three of the 12 independent Critical Access Hospitals in Michigan, Deckerville Community Hospital, Hills & Dales Healthcare and Marlette Regional Hospital are well positioned to come together and create a more connected care network. At the end of the day, this is about keeping local healthcare local and improving care for our rural patients.”
As part of their agreement, the organizations have committed to:
- Maintain and enhance the immediate and long-term financial viability of their combined health system.
- Maintain the hospitals as acute care facilities while continuing to invest and grow core and specialty services so that more complex cases can be treated locally.
- Invest in infrastructure improvements and updates that will allow the organizations to provide more efficient and higher quality care to patients.
- Create new ways to work together that will grow local access to care, increase quality and provide more opportunities and resources for employees.
- Invest in charity care to ensure all members of our community can access the care they need.
- Build upon the great work of employees to continue increasing the clinical quality of services and programs.
- Devote resources to improve recruitment and retention across the entire workforce, including primary care and specialty care physicians and advanced practice professionals.
- Broaden and deepen community support and engagement across the Thumb.
While signing the LOI is an important milestone, there is still much work to be done to become one unified health system. The organizations are currently in a period of mutual due diligence to fully determine the details of a final agreement. Pending further Board approvals and standard state and federal regulatory review, they hope to finalize an agreement that will combine the organizations sometime next year.
In the meantime, current daily operations are unchanged at the organizations and patients should continue to visit their providers, clinics and facilities as they always have. For more information about the proposed combined organization, please visit ThumbsUpHealthcare.org.
About Hills & Dales Healthcare
Hills & Dales Healthcare is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which operates a 25-bed critical access hospital, urgent care, two rehabilitation centers, a retail pharmacy, an assisted living memory care facility, and clinics in Caro, Ubly, Cass City, Kingston, and Bad Axe, Michigan, offering a full-range of quality inpatient and outpatient health services. Hills & Dales Healthcare was named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals for 2023. For more information, see hdhlth.org.
About United Healthcare Partners
United Healthcare Partners is an affiliate between Deckerville Community Hospital (DCH), The Heartlands Marlette Senior Living (HSL), and Marlette Regional Hospital (MRH).
About Marlette Regional Hospital
Marlette Regional Hospital is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, operating a 25-bed critical access hospital, an attached 39-bed skilled nursing facility, independent living facility along with clinics in Marlette, Brown City, North Branch, Kingston, and Mayville. Marlette Regional Hospital houses the CRTN Cancer Center. For more information, see marletteregionalhospital.org.
About Deckerville Community Hospital
Deckerville Community Hospital has served the community for over 70 years and has been a certified Critical Access Hospital for 22 years. As a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, they offer many patient services, including laboratory, inpatient services, medical imaging, and more. For more information, see deckervillehosp.org.
About The Heartlands
The Heartlands opened in 2023 as a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which operates a senior living community located in Marlette. It features 20 independent living villas, 20 assisted living apartments, and 12 memory care apartments. There is an attached community center, fitness center, on-site clinical services, salon, media center and chapel, along with daily life enrichment and activities. For more information, see theheartlandsmarlette.org.