Sparrow has officially started our new chapter with U-M Health.
For over 127 years, Sparrow Health System has had the honor of serving Mid-Michigan and earning the trust of our community. For everyday health needs or more complex conditions, our caregivers are committed to providing the most highly skilled, compassionate, and personalized care.
Today marks an incredibly important milestone in the history of Sparrow Health System as we officially join together with University of Michigan Health. This is the start of an exciting new chapter and enables our combined organization to expand services to Mid-Michigan residents, provide increased access to the highest level of care and improve facilities and technology.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Moving forward, our focus will be on integrating care to best serve our patients, with an emphasis on keeping care local. Over time, we look forward to continuing to increase access to specialty care locally in the communities we serve.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Community & Patient Questions
University of Michigan Health has announced that all legal and regulatory requirements have been completed and Sparrow Health System (Sparrow) is now legally part of the University of Michigan Health. This milestone marks an exciting new chapter and means we are poised to expand services to Mid-Michigan residents, provide increased access to the highest level of care and improve facilities and technology. Effective April 1, 2024, the new name for Sparrow Health System will be University of Michigan Health-Sparrow.
Patients are our top priority. We remain committed to putting your safety and well-being at the forefront of all that we do. We will continue to operate with the same industry-leading healthcare programs and amenities that make us a health system of choice.
Our focus is on integrating care to best serve patients, with an emphasis on keeping care local. Over time, we look forward to continuing to increase access to specialty care locally in the communities we serve.
University of Michigan Health doctors already practice at Sparrow in several capacities. Our pediatric joint venture has built upon the strength of the existing Sparrow care teams and brought several C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital pediatric specialists to Lansing. More recently, our plastic surgery collaborations have brought University of Michigan Health surgeons to E.W. Sparrow Hospital. A key priority moving forward will be supporting Sparrow’s existing clinical expertise and adding new doctors, including University of Michigan Health doctors, to Sparrow locations where appropriate to help meet the needs of our communities.
Yes. Please be assured that you will continue to receive the same high-quality care and services you have come to expect from us.
By coming together, the combined organization is creating a clinical care network that builds upon the strengths of the world-class University of Michigan Health academic medical center and Sparrow’s successful community-based health system. There are several reasons why both organization’s Leadership Teams and Boards are confident this is the right step at the right time.
Joining University of Michigan Health enables Sparrow to accelerate the expansion of services, build greater breadth and depth of clinical expertise, and seamlessly integrate leading-edge technology and other updates into facilities. For University of Michigan Health, this advances the organization’s long-term vision of a statewide system of highly coordinated care—a vision that Sparrow also embraces and is excited to realize together. As a result, patients will have more coordinated specialty care and be able to stay close to home.
The mission, vision and values of the organizations are aligned with a common goal to deliver on the promise of clinical excellence in an accessible setting. Among the benefits are:
- Expanded access to specialty and complex care to Lansing-area patients (in person and remotely);
- An enduring collaboration model that preserves a local community-care focus;
- Continued access to clinical research, trials and a forum for translational medicine for Sparrow patients;
- Additional pathways to train, access and recruit the highest echelon of students and residents;
- Strengthened ability for University of Michigan Health to provide quality health care in communities beyond southeast Michigan, expanding its mission as a statewide referral site for the most critically ill; and
- Advanced clinical care and health equity for under-served patient populations through research and education and by ensuring a caring, respectful, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of patients, caregivers and the community.
Patients or their families can continue to direct questions to their current providers. If you are looking for a provider, you can find one at:
No. The Sparrow name and branding will not change until April 1, 2024. While our leaders recognize the importance of unifying the University of Michigan Health and Sparrow brand, it is important to us that we execute the transition of Sparrow branding in a thoughtful manner.
Physicians and clinical staff will have the opportunity to leverage their community health expertise in a significant way as we co-design the future of our combined organization. University of Michigan Health, Sparrow and University of Michigan Health-West physicians will play an active role in defining the future of the statewide non-faculty medical group. This includes overseeing recruitment, on-boarding, clinic operations and standardization of best clinical practices.
Additionally, being part of a nationally recognized health system that has academic and community health expertise will open up new clinical and research possibilities for Sparrow providers—supporting the recruitment and retention of the highest level of talent. Our physicians and clinical staff are the heart of all that we do. We are proud to have the opportunity to begin a new chapter with this talented group and look forward to the bright future ahead.
Our teams will begin to collaborate more freely to determine how we can better serve our patients and accelerate growth moving forward. We plan to conduct a thoughtful integration process including administrative and physician leaders from University of Michigan Health, Sparrow and University of Michigan Health-West to consider the best way to align our systems, processes and policies to ensure success across our combined organization.
University of Michigan Health-West will be included in the integration process, ensuring the eventual combined operating model is informed by best practices from each organization.
We plan to conduct a thoughtful integration process over the coming months, but different service lines will have unique integration needs and timing considerations. This will require a phased approach that will be pragmatically planned.
Sparrow has a longstanding relationship with MSU that continues to provide vital and valued clinical services to the communities of Mid-Michigan. The pediatric care provided at University of Michigan Health at Sparrow Children’s Center is a great example of Sparrow, U-M Health, and MSU physicians coming together to provide the highest quality pediatric care in Mid-Michigan. Other examples where Sparrow works closely with MSU include neurology and medical education. Both Sparrow and U-M Health value the relationship with MSU and hope to continue their affiliation with MSU and its training programs.
There will be no changes to Sparrow’s existing residency and fellowship programs in the immediate term. There is an ongoing commitment to the medical education mission of Sparrow that will only be enhanced by joining University of Michigan Health. Additionally, both Sparrow and University of Michigan Health value Sparrow’s existing relationship with MSU and plan to continue the affiliation and training programs.
Sparrow Caregiver Questions
More detailed caregiver FAQs can be found on One Sparrow.
We firmly believe that coming together is beneficial for our people, our patients and our region. The joining of University of Michigan Health and Sparrow is a definitive step forward to position our combined organization—and our teams—for continued and long-term success. For University of Michigan Health employees and University of Michigan Health-West employees, the expanded relationship with Sparrow further strengthens our ability to provide quality health care in communities beyond southeast and western Michigan. Additionally, being part of a nationally recognized health system will open up new clinical and research possibilities for Sparrow caregivers. We remain dedicated to being an employer of choice and a place where our people are proud to work.
There is a lot that we already have in common—the shared value we place on innovation, our commitment to our region and a passion for excellent patient care. In fact, this combination builds upon the existing and successful partnership between University of Michigan Health and Sparrow Children’s Center dating back to 2019. The driving motivation behind our organizations coming together is to combine the strengths of each health system to better care for the communities we serve.
In short, not much. While Sparrow caregivers are now officially a part of the University of Michigan Health team, you should not notice any major changes in the near term. Caregivers will continue to improve the health of the people in our communities by providing quality, compassionate care to everyone, every time.
While Sparrow Health System is now legally a part of University of Michigan Health, the valued physicians, providers, nurses and caregivers of Sparrow continue to be employed by Sparrow Health System.
Yes. Sparrow will remain a 501c3 organization. This is the technical definition the IRS uses to define a charitable organization. Therefore, eligibility for programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness will not change.
The Sparrow Health System Board and Sparrow subsidiary boards will continue to lead the local operations of the health system. Additionally, three Sparrow Health System board members will become key members of the University of Michigan Health Corporation Board (one will take on the role of Chair).
No. Your role and responsibilities remain the same.
No. Compensation, benefits plans and programs, and how you get paid will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. Consistent with our current practice, any future changes would be communicated well in advance.
There are no changes to retirement benefits and there are no actions required at this time. Consistent with our current practice, any future changes would be communicated well in advance.
Yes. All current union agreements will remain in effect, including pay, benefits, work rules and grievance procedures. If you have questions or concerns, you can reach out to your union steward or your local HR business partner per your normal process.
Through the integration process, we are working to create an organizational structure that will best serve our patients and a culture that will inspire our caregivers and employees—but that takes time. Maximizing continuity and minimizing disruption remain among our primary objectives. We expect to share more information on functional organizational structures and responsibilities in the coming months.
Sparrow Donor Questions
Yes. Donor support to Sparrow Health System will remain under the authority of Sparrow Foundation and will continue to be invested in providing the highest quality, compassionate health care to children and families in the Mid-Michigan region. In addition, as part of Sparrow joining University of Michigan Health additional pledges will be established connected to the Sparrow Capital Campaign that will accelerate some long-awaited improvements on the E.W. Sparrow Hospital campus in Lansing and across the Sparrow Mid-Michigan service area.
Yes. Donor support to University of Michigan Health at Sparrow Children’s Center will continue to be invested in providing the highest quality, compassionate health care to children and families in the Mid-Michigan region.
Yes. While University of Michigan Health has committed to supporting investments at Sparrow, our organization must still operate in a financially sustainable way. Securing the resources to deliver on the needs of the community is important and additional financial resources are vital.
The University of Michigan Health commitment is significant and allows us to initiate more projects than we could on our own; however, the list of needs across our 120+ sites of care is substantial. Donors helped create our dedicated Granger Pediatric Emergency Department and the Herbert-Herman Cancer Center. Donor generosity helps care for the most fragile babies in the RNICU, improve access to care via our Mobile Health Bus, and offer comfort in the final days at hospice. Sparrow will maintain its focus on mid-Michigan and philanthropy will continue to play a key role in ensuring community needs are met locally whenever possible. Every gift, at every level, makes a difference.
Yes. Named funds, rooms, spaces and places across our system serve as a reminder of donor generosity and will be preserved as our organization continues to grow and expand.