Patric E. Ludwig, president of Bronson Healthcare Group in Kalamazoo, Mich., died last week from complications following a stroke. He was 57.
Ludwig took the helm at the two-hospital system, in 1985. For 11 years prior, he was president of the state hospital association.
In 1990, Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and its neighbor, Borgess Medical Center, received national attention for their fierce competition, including dueling helicopter programs, which was blamed for increasing healthcare costs.
Following that, the two hospitals cooperated on projects including an outpatient cancer center.
Ludwig led the charge to reduce costs at Bronson in the 1990s, said Robert Kittredge, former chairman of the Bronson board.
"I think he took to heart some of the criticism that was leveled," said David Seaman, executive vice president of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. "I think it was proven by the fact that you don't read about Kalamazoo hospitals anymore."
At the MHA, Ludwig introduced many member services and served as mentor to three current state hospital association presidents, Seaman said. He also worked at the Hospital Association of New York State and Community Systems Foundation in Ann Arbor, Mich. He earned engineering and business degrees at the University of Michigan.
The Bronson board plans to recommend a successor this month.