MGH Signs With Duke Lifepoint

In a much anticipated move, the Marquette General Health System Board of Trustees has signed a memorandum of understanding to join Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals. The memorandum of understanding is a non-binding agreement that allows Marquette General and Duke LifePoint to move forward with the acquisition of MGHS by Duke LifePoint.

“The acquisition by Duke LifePoint is an historic opportunity for Marquette General and the Upper Peninsula,” said Brad Cory, Chair of the Marquette General Health System Board of Trustees. “As part of Duke LifePoint, we will have the ability to improve the quality of healthcare in the Upper Peninsula, strengthen Marquette General financially and expand our role in the region, working with other Upper Peninsula hospitals.”

In a press release, hospital officials say, over the next two to four months, Marquette General and Duke LifePoint will examine all aspects of the proposed acquisition and negotiate a definitive agreement. Once definitive agreement is reached, the transaction will be subject to various government approvals, including a thorough review process by the Michigan Attorney General.

“Our board carefully reviewed strategic options with organizations from across the country, and Duke LifePoint is clearly the best match for Marquette General and the communities we serve,” said Judy Watson-Olson, Vice-Chair of the MGHS Board. “Duke LifePoint’s team shares our dedication to quality healthcare in this region and commitment to our patients, employees and physicians. Together, we will be able to ensure that Marquette General is here caring for and serving our community for generations to come.”

Marquette General will become the fourth hospital in the Duke LifePoint network and the first in Michigan.

“We are excited at the prospect of welcoming Marquette General to the Duke LifePoint system,” said William J. Fulkerson, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President of Duke University Health System. “The hospital has a solid reputation for high quality care and a strong commitment to its community. Our team is looking forward to exploring how we can work with Marquette General to strengthen its quality and enhance healthcare throughout the Upper Peninsula.”

Duke LifePoint’s acquisition proposal includes significant financial commitments in major capital improvements, including construction of a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center, comprehensive cancer center, private patient rooms, new technology and new IT infrastructure.

The proposal also includes investments to boost physician recruitment.

Resources from the transaction will be available to meet the hospital’s pension obligations and provide funding for foundation grants to support community-based healthcare organizations and initiatives. Duke LifePoint expressed al commitment to the MGHS workforce and to continuation of MGHS’s charity care.

“We are committed to making sure that Marquette General continues to be the place you trust for healthcare in the Upper Peninsula and beyond,” said Cory. “The hospital will continue to operate the Level II Trauma Center, our leading Oncology Center with its recently acquired Linear Accelerator and CT Simulator, and the only neo-natal intensive care center in the region. And Marquette General will continue to be one of the top cardio hospitals in the country.”

“Duke LifePoint is building a strong system of quality-driven hospitals and providers that are well positioned for success,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “Duke LifePoint and Marquette General have a great opportunity to capitalize on each organization’s innovative approach to integrated delivery of quality healthcare in this region. Together, we will broaden the clinical services available here and advance our shared dedication to clinical quality and patient safety.”

“As part of Duke LifePoint, we will be able to create new opportunities and new jobs for doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Upper Peninsula,” said Gary Muller, President and CEO of MGHS. “We will have new centers of excellence at Marquette General, new and expanded service lines, and mentoring and training programs for our staff to improve patient care.”

Tune in to ABC 10 News Now tonight at 5:30 pm for more on this story. Further information on agreement with Duke LifePoint is also available on the Marquette General web site at