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Collaborating to broaden access to advanced cancer treatment for families in West Michigan

The people of West Michigan deserve access to state-of-the-art cancer therapies without having to travel great distances.

The Cancer Network of West Michigan, a joint venture between Mercy Health and Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, leverages the combined resources and capabilities of the two award-winning West Michigan health systems and Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan.

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Our shared commitment has brought our organizations together in a unique collaboration designed to deliver the care and expertise patients need, balancing personalized, patient-centered care with state-of-the-art clinical advances.

A key area of collaboration for the Cancer Network of West Michigan is bringing together our breast cancer experts to provide the best in breast cancer care to the women of West Michigan.

Learn more about our breast cancer services at Metro Health and Mercy Health.

About the Joint Venture

Unique collaboration gives West Michigan cancer patients broader access and deeper expertise

Grand Rapids, Mich. (Dec. 5. 2019)

A new initiative to integrate cancer care services in West Michigan will soon give patients broader access to advanced, state-of-the-art, comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and support across leading health care institutions.

The Cancer Network of West Michigan, a joint venture between Mercy Health and Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, leverages the combined resources and capabilities of the two West Michigan health systems and Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents gave final approval to the agreement at its regular meeting today. The agreement had been approved previously by the boards of Metro Health and Trinity Health-Michigan.

The innovative relationship will allow the institutions to collaborate to advance cancer treatment for families in West Michigan. The collaboration addresses the growing needs of West Michigan by expanding expertise and access to an extent that none of the organizations could achieve alone.

Together, we can create a world-class comprehensive program for our communities, greater than any of us could create independently, all while keeping our patients at the center of all we do.
Clifford Cho, MD
Surgical Oncologist, Michigan Medicine, Interim Executive Director of the Cancer Network

The connection to Michigan Medicine, a world-renowned cancer research center and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation, will ultimately provide local community hospitals with a direct tie to advanced clinical trials, emerging protocols and internationally renowned researchers. In the future, patients will access that expertise through their local physicians at Mercy Health and Metro Health.

Services will be offered across three facilities in West Michigan, including Lacks Cancer Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Johnson Family Cancer Center at Mercy Health Muskegon, and Metro Health, broadening access to a wide range of cancer services across West Michigan. These services will be supported by the outstanding clinicians at each of these facilities, and backed by the expertise of Michigan Medicine’s nationally ranked cancer center.

Read the full press release

We are committed to bringing the best possible cancer programs to West Michigan patients and improving access to advanced therapies so patients and families can stay in our region.
Hyung T. Kim, MD, MBA
President, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cancer Network of West Michigan?

Mercy Health, Metro Health and Michigan Medicine have formally joined forces to integrate cancer services across our locations in West Michigan.

Services will be offered across three facilities, including Johnson Family Cancer Center at Mercy Health Muskegon, Lacks Cancer Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, West Michigan’s only dedicated cancer hospital, and Metro Health Cancer Center, broadening access to a wide range of services from Grand Rapids to the Lakeshore, from Grand Haven to Ludington.

Efforts are underway to ensure that cancer care across each of these locations will be integrated to ensure seamlessly coordinated care and an enhanced patient experience across all services offered.

Each of the organizations looks forward to continuing to strengthen and broaden access to advanced, patient-centered cancer care throughout the communities we serve.

Are more services now available through the Cancer Network?

Initially, our focus is on integrating care to best serve our patients seamlessly, and with an emphasis on keeping care local. Over time, our organizations look forward to continuing to strengthen and broaden access to advanced cancer care, including leading-edge clinical trials, locally in West Michigan.

As a current patient of Mercy Health or Metro Health, what will change for me?

Patients of the cancer programs at Mercy Health and Metro Health will notice no immediate change in their care. Your providers will not be affected by the creation of the Cancer Network, and you can continue receiving care at the locations you are already receiving care at. Over time, as we integrate care and expand our services, you will benefit from expanded availability of services, and a seamlessly integrated experience across our locations. In addition, we are working towards giving patients in West Michigan access to leading-edge clinical trials without having to leave the region.

Is my family able to receive all of our care in West Michigan or will we need to travel to Ann Arbor?

Mercy Health, Metro Health and Michigan Medicine are committed to providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place. Our goal is to give families access to advanced cancer care, close to home through our locations at Mercy Health and Metro Health. The focus of the Cancer Network is to give the patients and families of West Michigan access to the latest cancer therapies without leaving West Michigan. Together, we are working to improve access to cancer care so families have less need to travel, not more.

How will the organizations share electronic medical records and documentation? Which patient portal should I use?

Patients should use the patient portal offered by whichever site(s) they receive care at.

Providers from each organization can access medical records for patients whose care they are involved in seamlessly through a provider portal.

As a donor to one of the partner organizations, will my donation stay with my local hospital?

Yes. Mercy Health and Metro Health remain independent hospitals. Our goal in collaborating through the Cancer Network is to expand access to advanced cancer care in West Michigan. Philanthropic support to Mercy Muskegon, Mercy Saint Mary and Metro Health will continue to be invested in accordance with donor intent, to provide the highest quality, compassionate health care to patients and families in West Michigan.

How do I become a patient of the Cancer Network of West Michigan?

With the establishment of the Cancer Network, we will be integrating cancer services across our three locations to best serve our patients with seamless coordination.

You can contact any of our three locations with the confidence that you will be tapping into the full strength, compassion and expertise of all of our hospitals.

Learn more and contact any of our cancer centers:

Who will I receive a bill from?

The formation of the Cancer Network does not currently change how billing is handled for services provided at each location. Hospital services provided at each location will be billed as before, i.e. by Mercy Health Muskegon, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s or Metro Health – University of Michigan Health.

How will this arrangement affect financial assistance?

Our organizations are committed to providing advanced cancer care to all in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay.  Financial assistance is available at each of our respective hospitals for uninsured or those with limited or exhausted insurance benefits.

Does the creation of the Cancer Network impact my insurance coverage?

Mercy Health, Metro Health and Michigan Medicine have relationships with many of the same insurance providers and accept many of the same insurance plans. Coverage at each individual location will correspond with the insurance contracts in place at each hospital.

Patients can learn more about insurance plans at each facility on their corresponding websites:

Learn About Our Members

Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, and Michigan Medicine have joined forces to integrate cancer services across our three locations. Together, we can create access to world-class cancer therapies right here in West Michigan – more comprehensive and advanced than any of us could create independently – all while keeping our patients at the center of all we do.

 

Services will be offered at three locations in West Michigan:

 

No matter which door patients walk into, they can be confident they will access the full strength and expertise of our entire collaborative, including specialists from Michigan Medicine’s nationally ranked cancer programs. Most importantly, the collaborative is designed to improve access to care without requiring families to leave West Michigan for care.

Why We're Collaborating

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