September 8, 2017 | 8:29 am

Grand Rapids, MI – Representatives from Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) and Making Choices Michigan (MCM) have announced plans to integrate their day-to-day operations. MCM will maintain its existing brand and governing board of directors, but will function as a wholly owned subsidiary of GLHC. Doug Dietzman, Executive Director of GLHC, will add leadership responsibility for MCM to his current role. The formal agreement between the two entities became official on September 1st, 2017. Specific details continue to be finalized.

MCM is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to improving health outcomes, and end-of-life treatment quality through the promotion and facilitation of Advance Care Planning (ACP). Since their founding in 2010, MCM has become known across the U.S. as a best-in-class example of community-based ACP facilitation. MCM’s Community Coordinator Carol Robinson said, “Having the conversation about treatment preferences is vital to a person’s quality of life. Making Choices Michigan helps make that happen, and we are very pleased to continue that work in partnership with Great Lakes Health Connect. GLHC’s non-profit status and mission-focused approach to facilitating the seamless flow of information for people across Michigan is highly complementary to our own business model”.

The integration came about in part as a result of the strong collaborative relationship that both organizations have developed over several years. As the leading health information exchange provider in Michigan, GLHC worked with MCM to establish an electronic repository for ACP documents. Organizations who work with MCM in gathering ACP information can upload the documents to GLHC’s community health record. In turn, healthcare providers can then access the documents and use the information at the point of care.

Combining operations with GLHC allows MCM to continue pursuing its mission and building on the significant progress experienced to date, while benefitting from the resources and economies available to a larger combined organization. For GLHC, incorporating MCM compliments their strategic vision of supporting the creation of care-connected community across Michigan and beyond. “The potential to leverage our combined resources to improve access to critical health information, including Advance Directives, across the state is really exciting”, said Doug Dietzman. “Our organizations will be better and stronger together, which is a positive thing for the people of Michigan”, he concluded.

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About Great Lakes Health Connect:
Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) is among the leading providers of health information exchange services in the nation. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, GLHC seamlessly and securely facilitates the transmission of more than a billion messages annually between 129 hospitals and over 4,000 primary, specialty, and allied care provider offices across the state. The community-based nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare information by creating care-connected communities across Michigan and beyond. For more information, visit www.gl-hc.org.

About Making Choices Michigan:
Making Choices Michigan, established in 2010, is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, community collaborative committed to helping people determine their end-of-life preferences, documenting those preferences in an advance directive (AD), developing a system for storing and retrieving the AD, and educating the healthcare community to honor a person’s AD to ensure that a person’s end-of-life preferences are respected.

 

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