Dickinson County Healthcare System Signs Letter of Intent with UP Health System

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County Healthcare System and UP Health System are beginning a formal process to evaluate the possibility of DCHS becoming part of UPHS.

The organizations have signed a non-binding letter of intent that allows them to evaluate a potential acquisition of DCHS by UPHS and engage regional stakeholders in discussions of new approaches to ensuring access to high quality care in the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.

We are delighted about the prospect of Dickinson County Healthcare joining UP Health System,” said Bill Edberg, chairman of the Dickinson County Healthcare System Board of Trustees. “However, we know that an ownership change alone will not ensure our hospital’s success. Over the next several weeks, we will be working with UP Health System and other key stakeholders throughout this region to examine the opportunities and challenges that exist for us and how we can better work with many key partners to strengthen healthcare here today and into the future.”

UPHS includes three hospital campuses in the Upper Peninsula: UPHS-Marquette – the system’s tertiary campus, UPHS-Portage in Hancock, and UPHS–Bell in Ishpeming.
The letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that initiates a due diligence process allowing Dickinson County Healthcare System and UPHS to ensure that a potential acquisition of Dickinson County Healthcare by UPHS is in the best interests of both organizations and the people they serve.
“Our team is pleased to have signed this letter of intent, and we look forward to learning more about the health system and community,” said Brian Sinotte, market president of UPHS. “Dickinson County Healthcare System and UP Health System share a commitment to ensuring that everyone in this region has access to the quality care they deserve right here in the UP.  We are eager to engage in more in-depth discussions with stakeholders across the region to evaluate how a collaboration between our organizations could work and how we can all partner to improve the health and wellbeing of the people Dickinson County Healthcare serves.”
The hospital and UPHS, in partnership with others throughout the region, aim to reinvigorate the local healthcare system to ensure that Dickinson County Healthcare System is the first choice for community members. Both organizations feel confident they can achieve this goal and prevent families seeking care outside of Michigan with the support of various stakeholders, including patients.
“Access to care close to home is vital in Dickinson and Iron Counties,” said Henry Wender, chairman of the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners. “I am excited that Dickinson County Healthcare System and UP Health System are exploring a potential collaboration and applaud their efforts to bring the many disparate parties with a stake in our region’s health together to have meaningful conversations about how we all can work together to strengthen healthcare delivery here and ensure that people of all ages have the services and support they need to thrive locally.”
Due diligence is projected to take a minimum of 60-90 days. Following this process, if it is determined that the acquisition should move forward, Dickinson County Healthcare System and UPHS will begin to negotiate the terms of a definitive agreement.
State Senator Tom Casperson commented on the announcement, “I am thrilled that Dickinson County Healthcare System, UP Health System, Dickinson County officials and many other stakeholders are working together for the greater good of our communities. As I have again been reminded of personally, we must work to ensure the people we serve have access to quality healthcare, and through the shared commitment of these varied stakeholders towards that end, I am optimistic that the result of this collaborative effort will be a stronger healthcare system serving the region for generations to come.”