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Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Realigns Services at Livingston and Saline Hospitals
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is announcing the discontinuation of obstetric services at St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital and the closing of the inpatient unit at St. Joseph Mercy Saline Hospital. These changes are necessary due to a drop in patient volume and declining reimbursement for care delivery. These services will be consolidated throughout Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, creating a more seamless regional care delivery network. “In all we do, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System must focus on our mission, especially our commitment to patient care excellence, community benefit and social responsibility,” explained Garry C. Faja, president and CEO of seven-hospital Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. “Part of that commitment includes repositioning services according to the changing needs of the people we serve to ensure the consistent delivery of high quality, compassionate care.” Employees affected by the unit closures will be offered similar positions at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and other facilities within SJMHS. The exact number of reductions is not known at this time, although it is expected to be less than 50.  “Throughout this necessary transition of services, our first concern is for the people we serve, both patients and employees. Our decisions are based upon sustaining clinical services while minimizing disruption and dislocation for the people in our highly valued workforce,” said Rob Casalou, president and CEO, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Livingston and Saline hospitals. St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Over the course of the next several months, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston (SJM Livingston) will close its Family Birth Center. The decline in the number of deliveries at SJM Livingston, dropping from 856 in fiscal year 2008 to less than 650 this year, required St. Joseph Mercy Livingston to consolidate these services with the Family Birth Center at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.  “Typically, when an obstetric unit’s birth rate falls under two births per day, it becomes very difficult to maintain necessary staffing levels 24/7 in order to exceed our high patient safety standards,” explained Casalou. As this service is phased out, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston will work with its OB/GYN physicians to evaluate the needs of expectant mothers who are planning to deliver at SJM Livingston. Once the transition is complete, Livingston County families will continue to be served by our highly qualified OB/GYNs who will perform deliveries in the new mother-baby unit at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, which features 34 private rooms and showers, and state-of-the-art technology. SJM Ann Arbor can accommodate additional volume from SJM Livingston. St. Joseph Mercy Saline In July, St. Joseph Mercy Saline (SJM Saline) will close its inpatient unit and transfer the Acute Care for the Elders (ACE) inpatient program to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. SJM Saline nurses and staff who are experienced in providing this specialized care for older adults will be offered assignments at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor so that SJMHS can continue to offer these highly valued services as part of its commitment to senior services.  St. Joseph Mercy Saline will continue to provide 24-hour emergency care, outpatient surgeries, laboratory services, radiology services and house physician offices. This will preserve access to outpatient services, including 13,000 emergency department visits, 30,000 radiology visits, 29,000 lab visits and 2,000 outpatient surgeries so far this fiscal year. By comparison, the 74-bed inpatient unit has an average daily census of 10 patients, and continues to decline.  “We are trying to be good stewards of our valuable resources,” said Casalou. “Our inpatient services are not being utilized at a rate that can sustain the hospital.” In December 2009, St. Joseph Mercy Saline opened a Community Health Pavilion, which will remain an important health and wellness resource the community. “The recent opening of the Community Health Pavilion provides an opportunity to re-focus our role in the community to health education and the promotion of community partnerships to improve health,” explained Kathleen Rhine, vice president and chief operating officer, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston and Saline hospitals. Casalou added that health care reform places more focus on wellness and preventive care and lower-cost outpatient care; SJM Saline is changing to align with the future of health care and the demands of the community.