Positive response to Portage Health – LifePoint merger

Representatives from the Michigan Attorney General’s office heard nothing but positive comments Monday evening about the proposed merger between Portage Health and Duke Lifepoint.

Among those who praised the new arrangement were Hancock Mayor Bill Laitila, Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson, Finlandia University President Philip Johnson, MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark, Copper Country Intermediate School District Superintendent Dennis Harbour, Keweenaw Community Foundation Director Barbara Rose, and representatives of the boards of directors of Portage Health and the Portage Health Foundation.

Portage Health CEO Jim Bogan said there were a dozen health care organizations that initially expressed interest in a merger. Lifepoint CEO Bill Carpenter promised that existing jobs would be protected.

Joy Yearout from the A-G’s office says their interest lies in protecting the public’s position whenever a non-profit organization converts to for-profit status.

Many of the documents associated with the Portage Health merger are posted online at www.michigan.gov/portage. The Attorney General’s office will accept written comments on the merger until the end of the month by email to AGportage@michigan.gov… or by postalvmail to Attorney General U.P. Hospital Comments, Post Office Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909.