Mackinac Straits Health System and MidMichigan Health Announce Affiliation

ST. IGNACE and MIDLAND, Mich. – Mackinac Straits Health System (MSHS) and MidMichigan Health jointly announced a formal affiliation between the two organizations that will address technology (IT) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) needs.

Karen Cheeseman, MSHS president and chief executive officer says the organization has identified a critical need for IT infrastructure and an EMR system to better serve patients. “This opportunity to align with MidMichigan and implement the EPIC software system will assist us in meeting our critical needs. We recognize that while we have many strengths, operating successful health systems in today’s environment requires more than we have available to us as a stand-alone health care organization. This affiliation will position us well for the future.”

Steve Autore, MSHS board chairman, says the organization has explored other affiliations in the past. He believes there is strong synergy, shared values and compelling reasons why both organizations should work together. “I feel we are very closely aligned with MidMichigan. For two organizations to work collaboratively requires an alignment with mission, vision and values. They believe in our mission of providing local access and quality healthcare to the families and communities we serve,” said Autore.

MidMichigan Health, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is a six-hospital health system with Medical Centers located in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch. MidMichigan Health provides a full continuum of care across a wide array of settings, including urgent care centers, home health, virtual care, as well as medical offices in more than 30 specialties and subspecialties including cardiology, hematology/oncology, orthopedics, vascular surgery, family medicine and more. MidMichigan is affiliated with Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of University of Michigan.

According to Diane Postler-Slattery, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO of MidMichigan Health, “We too would benefit from an affiliation with MSHS. For organizations like ours to continue to be successful we must address size, scale and geographic footprint. We admire Mackinac Straits’ passion for excellence, their standards for service and their integrity. We both want a win-win out of this agreement.”

About MSHS

MSHS includes a 15-bed Critical Access Hospital in St. Ignace which houses a rural health clinic (St. Ignace Medical Clinic), Emergency Room, Fast Care (Walk-in) Clinic, outpatient surgery center, six-chair infusion Oncology Clinic, retail pharmacy (Straits Area Pharmacy), and 48-bed long-term care facility (Evergreen Living Center). The System also includes the Mackinac Straits Health Foundation, Bois Blanc Island Medical Center, Mackinaw City Medical Clinic, Mackinaw City Specialty Clinic, Mackinac Island Medical Center, and the Rivertown Medical Clinic in Cheboygan.

About MidMichigan Health

MidMichigan Health, a non-profit health system headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is a leader in providing award-winning, high-quality care to the 23-county region it serves. With Medical Centers in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch, MidMichigan Health provides a full continuum of care across a wide array of settings, including urgent care centers, home health, virtual care, as well as medical offices in more than 30 specialties and subspecialties including cardiology, hematology/oncology, orthopedics, vascular surgery, family medicine and more. MidMichigan Health demonstrates its commitment to the future of medicine by partnering with leading institutions to offer medical education programs that train medical students, physicians, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students, nursing students and other clinical experts for our region. Its nearly 8,700 employees, volunteers and health care providers work together to create healthy communities through solutions designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the 940,000 residents in the health system’s service area. In fiscal year 2019, MidMichigan Health provided more than $90 million in community benefits, as well as supported its patients and families with new equipment, services and programs with funds raised by The MidMichigan Health Foundation.

CAPTION: Mackinac Straits Health System (MSHS) and MidMichigan Health jointly announced a formal affiliation between the two organizations that will addressing technology (IT) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) needs. Pictured during Monday’s signing are (left to right): Diane Postler-Slattery, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO, MidMichigan Health, and Karen Cheeseman, president and CEO, MSHS.

Drs. Smith and Harburn Honored!

Two well-known physicians were recently honored after announcing their retirement. Edward Smith, MD and Todd Harburn, DO have played key leadership roles with Mackinac Straits Health System.

Dr. Smith officially retired this summer after more than 33 years of treating patients in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. His career started in St. Ignace working in the hospital’s emergency department and the primary care clinic. He then focused on treating cancer patients as an oncologist, leading the staff in growing the patient base with the new oncology clinic. Dr. Smith helped developed the No Cancer Patient Left Behind Program and the Hooping For A Cure basketball event. He has served as Chief of Staff and on the Hospital Board. In 2018, Dr. Smith received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Lake Superior State University. Ed and his wife Jill still have their home in St. Ignace and plan to remain involved with the community.

Over his career, Dr. Harburn has treated orthopedic patients across Michigan. Most recently, he was seeing patients in clinic at Mackinaw City and performing outpatient surgical procedures in St. Ignace. Dr. Harburn was instrumental in developing the outpatient surgical services at Mackinac Straits Hospital and also represented the medical staff of the Hospital Board. Todd and his wife Shirley have moved downstate to be closer to family, but still plan to come back north for different events, including the Fort Michilimackinac Pageant over Memorial Weekend each year in Mackinaw City.

Retail Pharmacy

Our retail pharmacy is open seven days a week at Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace! Straits Area Pharmacy is located on the first floor near the Emergency entrance. It is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Weekends & Holidays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The 1,675-square foot pharmacy offers prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other health-related supplies such as bandages, skin lotions, and more. Four parking spaces have been constructed in front of the pharmacy area next to the sidewalk leading to the exterior pharmacy door. Recent Community Health Needs Assessments identified a need for more retail pharmacy services in the area. For more information, call (906) 643-7298.