GRAND RAPIDS – Representatives from Great Lakes Health Connect and Making Choices Michigan have announced the integration of 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 1, 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. Since their founding in 2010, MCM has become known across the U.S. as a best-in-class example of community-based ACP facilitation.

“Having the conversation about treatment preferences is vital to a person’s quality of life,” MCM’s Community Coordinator Carol Robinson said. “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 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. Any authorized and GLHC approved individual, whether they work with MCM or not, 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 its 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 each person’s healthcare wishes as expressed in an Advance Directive, 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.”

Both Carol and Doug are scheduled to speak at the Michigan Primary Care Consortium’s Advance Care Planning Conference, October 13 – 14, at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing. This event marks the first official public appearance of the newly integrated organizations. GLHC is the Honorarium sponsor for the conference.