Two health systems that serve patients in the southeastern and western portions of Michigan plan to merge their operations, including two medical facilities in Livingston County.

The Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health made the announcement this morning. They are both members of Trinity Health, a Catholic health care system based in Livonia with annual operating revenues of around $17 billion. The merger will create a single statewide health system with 10 hospitals, including St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell, providing more than 2,300 licensed beds. There will also be nine outpatient health centers, 12 urgent care facilities and more than 35 specialty centers, including the St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Health Center.

The new entity will employ more than 22,500 people and have a medical staff of nearly 4,000 physicians. Rob Casalou, regional president and CEO of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, will be the president and CEO of the combined Michigan system starting Jan. 1. Casalou joined Trinity Health in 2008 as president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston. In 2015, he was named regional president and CEO of the St. Joseph Mercy Health System. Roger Spoelman, president and CEO of Mercy Health, will serve as senior vice president of strategic and operational integration for Trinity Health in Livonia.

In a statement released today, the merger was referred to as part of a national strategy by Trinity Health to integrate teams and resources to better serve communities.

Casalou tells WHMI that for their patients, much of this will be transparent and that they will continue to invest in their Livingston County facilities. He adds that they’ve already been taking advantage of turnover and attrition the past two years to already begin the consolidation process thus there will be no need for any future layoffs or job losses related to the merger. (JK)