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Jackson's Allegiance Health, U-M affiliation will benefit patients, community and staff, CEO says

Allegiance Health

The head of Jackson's Allegiance Health says a planned affiliation with the University of Michigan Health System will be good for patients, the community and employees.  

The 400-bed facility is the closest hospital for people in several counties.

Allegiance Health CEO Georgia Fojtasek says the UMHS affiliation will allow the hospital to expand patient services, including cardiovascular, neuromuscular and trauma care.

“The opportunities to take a research/teaching institution and being able to marry them with the goals of a community health system very focused on the health of the population is really exciting,” Fojtasek says.

“We need to be part of the transformation of health care – not in the political sense of affordable care, but in the real sense of creating value through high-quality care, high-quality service and safety at a lower cost. That kind of transformation is going to involve organizations working together to build the systems, the processes and the collaborations to accomplish that cost effectively.”

Fojtasek says Allegiance’s employees will also benefit from the arrangement with U-M.

“Our goal is to provide a real stable base for our staff, so that Allegiance can grow and I think it can create some real positive opportunities for our staff.”

In a statement, UMHS CEO Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said the proposed relationship will help patients receive care in the location best for them, which is often close to home.

The affiliation could take a year or longer to complete.

Fojtasek -- who got her start as a nurse -- says the hospital is a major economic driver in Jackson, so the expansion was welcome news to the business community as well.

The former Foote Hospital opened its doors in 1918. It merged with Mercy Hospital in 1975 and a modern facility was finished in 1983.