Celebrating 20 years of Spectrum Health

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – It has officially been 20 years since Butterworth Hospital and Blodgett Memorial Medical Center came together to form Spectrum Health!

We had Steve Heacock with us in studio, to talk about what’s happened in those 2 decades.

>>> Take a look in the video above.

Every decision in the evolution of Spectrum Health has been undertaken with one essential question in mind: What is the best way to meet the health needs of our community? The hospital understand those needs, as the community’s only locally-owned and governed, not-for-profit, health system.

And because of it, they are seeing a great impact. A key condition of the merger approval was Spectrum Health’s agreement to spend $6 million annually to increase access to care and improve the health of the surrounding communities.

In 2016 alone, Healthier Communities programs and services connected more than 622,000 times with community members.

Last year, they donated $326 million in community benefit. In FY2017, they have dedicated $372 million to community benefit.

What are some of the kinds of program?

Spectrum Health’s Healthier Communities’ Strong Beginnings program received the prestigious AHA NOVA Award in 2016 for its work to improve maternal and infant health among African Americans and Latinos in Kent County. As a result of this program, the infant mortality rate among African Americans in Kent County has been cut drastically over the last decade.

The 2016 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service was presented in recognition of Spectrum Health’s efforts to improve the health of individuals in our communities and reduce healthcare costs.

What are some other ways you are working with community partners?

The MSU College of Human Medicine is a great example. Spectrum Health committed $55 million to the $90 million project, which included principal and interest payments on the building for 25 years. Spectrum Health also committed up to $2 million per year for collaborative research projects. MSU College of Human Medicine has more than 300 medical students in Spectrum Health’s clinical settings. Each year, Spectrum Health hosts more than 2,200 students training for clinical and non-clinical careers. More than 280 medical residents train in 19 Spectrum Health/MSU fellowships and residencies.

How has Spectrum Health impacted the face of the community? What are some services that you provide that did not exist 20 years ago in West Michigan?

Patients in West Michigan no longer have to travel to Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic or out of state to receive care that did not exist 20 years ago.

Today, Spectrum Health provides:

  • The largest cancer care program in the region, accredited by the Commission on Cancer; here in Grand Rapids at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, or at one of our regional hospitals.
  • Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with more than 50 pediatric specialties and programs, is nationally ranked in cancer, nephrology, orthopedics, urology and pulmonology.
  • Holds West Michigan’s only accredited chest pain center, and first in volume in the state among hospitals that perform open heart surgery  all taking place at the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center.

How about some before and after statistics? You can see the great changes in the downtown Medical Center, but how much growth has there been?

In 1997, the medical staff was about 1,000 strong. Today, that number has more than tripled to 3,300 physicians and advanced practice providers.

Spectrum Health Medical Group has 91 adult and pediatric specialties spanning our 13-county region.

Last year there were more that 3 million patient/provider interactions.

We are the largest employer in the region.

The number of Spectrum Health employees in 1997 was about 8,000; As of September, 2017, it was nearly 26,000.

How is Spectrum Health celebrating its 20th anniversary?

We will be hosting and sponsoring a number of events this fall to thank the public for their support. These include:

  • Being a lead sponsor for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sept. 16
  • A Doctor Dialogue on Sports Concussions on September 19, at the Calvin College, Prince Conference Center
  • A Doctor Dialogue on Artery and Vein Disease, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on September 28 at Grace For The Nations Church on Kraft Avenue
  • Innovations in Health Surgery and Radiology Open House on September 28
  • Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Kids Marathon on October 14
  • Spectrum Health Candid Conversations, a fun, educational breast cancer awareness event on October 18 at East Kentwood High School Fine Arts Auditorium, and the Ludington Turkey Trot 5K on November 23.

How can people find out more about these events?

They can always check us out on the web at www.spectrumhealth.org