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Borgess, Oaklawn Hospital Form Collaborative Partnership

Kalamazoo, Michigan – Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, Michigan, and Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, part of Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit healthcare system, have formed a collaborative partnership that will expand access to high-quality, safe healthcare for the community. This partnership furthers our shared vision of a clinically integrated system of care designed to improve care, enhance the experience for patients and care providers, and lower overall healthcare costs.

The partnership, which is effective immediately, formalizes an established relationship between the two facilities through which Borgess-affiliated emergency physicians and some Borgess specialty physicians provide services to patients at Oaklawn Hospital. This new agreement will benefit patients by providing better access to more types of care and broadening services geographically.

The hospitals are not merging, but will collaborate through an oversight committee made up of an equal number of individuals from each hospital. This committee will evaluate strategic initiatives to improve access to care for individuals across the area and make recommendations to a Board of Managers consisting of the Chief Executive Officer of each hospital, who will share decision-making responsibility.

This unique partnership allows the two high-quality hospitals to work together for the betterment of the community while remaining separate. The partnership is named THINK Health. THINK is an acronym that stands for transformation, healing, inspiration, nurturing, knowledge.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Borgess,” said Ginger Williams, MD, President and CEO of Oaklawn Hospital. “Our values line up very well and we can see tremendous opportunities being developed together. This will be a great expansion of our existing relationship with the excellent team at Borgess.”

“This forward-thinking collaboration allows us to work together with the common goal of improving healthcare services and access,” said Kathy A. Young, President and CEO of Borgess Health. “Our ability to deliver safe, high-quality care and enhance the patient experience for the individuals we serve across the region is enhanced by working more closely with the caregivers and physicians of Oaklawn Hospital.”

“Across Michigan, the health ministries of Ascension are building new relationships and partnerships with physicians and other providers of care to improve access to a wide scope of services for those we’re privileged to serve,” said Gwen MacKenzie, Senior Vice President, Ascension Health/Michigan Ministry Market Executive. “This agreement between Borgess and Oaklawn Hospital – like the creation in 2014 of Together Health Network by Ascension Michigan, the Michigan health ministries of Trinity Health and our thousands of physician partners – advances our goal of providing patients convenient, coordinated, comprehensive care across the continuum.”

About Oaklawn Hospital
Oaklawn was founded in 1925 as a 12-bed hospital in a residential home, funded by a group of visionary philanthropists. Now, more than eight decades later, Oaklawn has evolved into a highly regarded regional healthcare organization, licensed for 77 acute care beds and 17 inpatient psychiatric beds. Oaklawn has continued to be an independent non-profit hospital, with its main campus residing on the same site as the original hospital, providing facilities, equipment and technology that are usually only found in larger health systems. Oaklawn enjoys a reputation for advancing medicine and providing compassionate, personal care. Its service area includes Calhoun County and parts of Branch and Eaton counties, with a medical staff of more than 150 providers representing over 35 specialties.

About Borgess Health
Borgess Health, part of Ascension Michigan, operates hospitals and related healthcare facilities in more than a dozen cities in southwest Michigan. Borgess Health facilities and services include Borgess Health Park; Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, Dowagiac; Borgess-Pipp Hospital, Plainwell; Borgess at Woodbridge Hills, Portage; a health and fitness center, a nursing home/rehabilitation facility, physician offices, home health care, and air ambulance services.
Its flagship hospital, Borgess Medical Center, is a 422-bed tertiary care provider that offers such specialties as cardiology, cardiac surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, oncology, radiology, neurology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, bariatrics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, and women’s health. Borgess has repeatedly earned recognition from such organizations as the American Heart/American Stroke Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as a premier cardiac, orthopedic and stroke care provider.

About Ascension
Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,500 sites of care – including 142 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.
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