By Ed Ness and Matt Wille

We would like to share this open letter to the Michigan Legislature and Governor Whitmer with the residents in our communities:

On behalf of Munson Healthcare, we the undersigned are imploring that you put aside your rhetorical and political differences and act on behalf of the constituents of northern Michigan and pass a budget supplemental bill that restores all 147-budget items eliminated for this fiscal year.

This is not about politics, it is about people. You supported these vetoed programs in your budget recommendations and passed appropriations bills. These programs were all fiscally appropriate under a balanced budget. Yet somehow we are now at an impasse, two months into the fiscal year, where your decisions are having real world consequences on the people you serve.

For Munson Healthcare, these cuts have a significant impact on our ability to continue providing world-class care, closest to home for the patients we serve in rural northern Michigan. As a result of these budget cuts, we are immediately faced with a loss of over $5 million dollars this fiscal year. The specific impact on each of our hospitals is as follows:

Hospital FY20 General Fund Elimination

(Combined Rural/OB Payments)

Munson Medical Center: $2,153,000

MHC Cadillac Hospital: $800,000

MHC Grayling Hospital: $657,000

MHC Otsego Memorial Hospital: $610,000

MHC Manistee Hospital: $507,000

MHC Charlevoix Hospital: $291,000

Kalkaska Memorial Health Center: $180,000

Mackinac Straits Health System: $55,000

Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital: $55,000

Munson Healthcare System Total $5,308,000

Let it be known that no action on passing a supplemental budget bill has the same effect as the status quo: No funding for critical programs that impact the residents of northern Michigan. We look to you as leaders of this state to pass a bill within the first week of your return to Lansing that restores funding to all 147 budget items that were eliminated. The money is there. The impacts are real. The time for action is now.

Ed Ness is the president and CEO of Munson Healthcare. Matt Wille is the president and CEO of Munson Medical Center.

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