The Michigan House today approved Rep. Greg VanWoerkom’s plan to help North Ottawa Community Health System continue providing quality care for area residents.
The Grand Haven hospital recently entered into a non-binding letter of intent to discuss the feasibility of becoming part of Trinity Health Michigan. The two systems have been working in partnership for several years to improve efficiencies at NOCHS. VanWoerkom sponsored House Bill 5876, which would allow this transition to happen more quickly if the health care organizations decide to proceed.
“Our families, friends and neighbors rely on North Ottawa Community Health System,” VanWoerkom said. “I am glad to help our health care partners study options and find the best possible solution to meet our community’s needs. This legislation is part of that effort.”
Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure transferring the Grand Haven hospital to a nonprofit corporation in 1996. Current state law would require another vote to transfer the hospital from the current nonprofit to another nonprofit. VanWoerkom’s legislation would eliminate this time-consuming and redundant step by allowing the hospital authority board to approve the transfer board on its own.
The hospital authority board is comprised of representatives from all six communities in the North Ottawa Community Health System coverage area – including the city of Grand Haven and Grand Haven Township, Spring Lake Township, the city of Ferrysburg, Crockery Township and Robinson Township.
Shelleye Yaklin, president of North Ottawa Community Health System, testified in support of House Bill 5876 earlier this year. Yaklin noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for hospitals across the nation – particularly for small independent hospitals that do not have the economy-of-scale staffing and supply benefits of larger health systems.
House Bill 5876 advances to the Senate for further consideration.
VanWoerkom, of Norton Shores, is in his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Rep. Greg VanWoerkom tonight led legislative approval of a major infrastructure investment to help spur economic development and job creation in Ottawa and Muskegon counties.