The boards of seven-hospital Spectrum Health System, Grand Rapids, Mich., and two-hospital United Memorial Health System, based 30 miles northeast in Greenville, Mich., approved a memorandum of understanding under which United would merge into Spectrum. No money would change hands. In a joint news release, the systems said United Memorial will maintain its own medical staff, local board and foundation. A common link between the organizations is William Gonzalez, former president and CEO of Spectrum who helped steer Spectrum to victory in a costly antitrust dispute with the Federal Trade Commission. Although the FTC failed to block the 1997 merger that formed Spectrum, the agency alleged in a 2001 post-merger study that the deal had not delivered promised cost savings and efficiencies. Gonzalez currently is interim president and CEO at United Memorial. -- by Mark Taylor
Two northern Mich. systems agree to merge
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