Munson Ready To Expand System

May 14, 2014

Credit Michigan Department of Community Health

Munson Healthcare is ready to acquire two more hospitals. The Traverse City-based system has signed a letter of intent to purchase Mercy Hospital Grayling and Mercy Hospital Cadillac.

The hospitals are now owned by CHE Trinity Health, a Catholic system with hospitals in 20 states and many in southern Michigan. Both have had a shared management arrangement with Munson for more than a decade.

Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare, says the move makes sense since the nearest Trinity Hospitals are in Muskegon and Grand Rapids.

“Most of their patients really travel to Traverse City or stay in northern Michigan for care,” says Ness. “Very few go to other Trinity hospitals, just because of geography.”

Ness says Munson Healthcare is a $600 million dollar operation, with hospitals in Frankfort and Traverse City. He expects the Grayling and Cadillac hospitals would increase the size of the system by about 20 percent.

Munson has a network of affiliations with hospitals from Manistee to Gaylord.

Ness says Munson is in a strong financial position to expand.

“We just kicked off the construction of our cancer center, which wouldn’t have been possible without a large fundraising effort and $17 million of support from the community,” says Ness.

In 2010, Munson considered merging into Spectrum Health, based in Grand Rapids.

Other hospitals in northern Michigan cities, including Ludington and Petoskey, have recently joined larger systems based in the southern part of the state.