It’s been said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated certain trends, and that’s definitely true in the world of healthcare. The pre-pandemic industry had already seen a spike in mergers and acquisitions as rural hospitals struggled to stay operational and other facilities grappled with changing economic realities. Now, that concentration is only expected to continue.
While these moves can ultimately bring a host of advantages for health systems, patients, and communities, they also present numerous challenges physicians, leaders, and administrators must overcome.
Michael Anderson acts as the director of benefits and human resources consulting at NorthShore University HealthSystem based in Evanston, Illinois. He earned an MBA with a specialization in HR and marketing from Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business and has spent more than eighteen years as part of NorthShore’s team.
Today, Anderson works to navigate the wellbeing, benefits, and customer service integration when NorthShore acquires other health systems. He updates executives, creates a total change management platform, and leads a team of three employees dedicated to streamlining the process. He also creates and implements strategies designed to accommodate a rapidly growing employee population.
Managing the important process well requires Anderson to develop strong internal relationships with his peers and build good rapport with key external partners. One such partner, EOI Service Company, helps NorthShore University HealthSystem ensure its new employees understand their benefits options and select those most suited to their individual and family needs.
Anderson is on the forefront, making sure his organization uses these tools so empowered employees have everything needed to make informed decisions. “Mike’s forward-thinking approach and innovative spirit have created a powerful employee experience, filled with a wealth of resources and educational opportunities that are unlike anything I have ever experienced,” says John Allen, senior vice president of strategic marketing at EOI Service.
The efforts to onboard and retain new employees and create a cohesive benefit plan strengthens NorthShore University HealthSystem’s position in a competitive market during a critical time of ongoing growth.
On January 1, 2020, NorthShore University HealthSystem acquired Swedish Hospital and its clinical entities. Located in a diverse neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, the facility’s staff speaks approximately forty languages. Swedish Hospital offers comprehensive health services and advanced clinical care. It also is a Primary Stroke Center.
One year later, leaders finalized another merger, bringing Edward-Elmhurst Health into the system. That means NorthShore’s HR and benefits teams will have to accommodate and serve twenty-five-thousand new team members and six thousand new physicians. The acquisition creates the state of Illinois’ third-largest health system and second largest physician network.
“Our combined organization offers significant promise for our patients, team members, and communities. As we deepen our commitment to community connection and expand regional access to leading-edge, expert care in our patients’ backyards, we have the opportunity to create something truly differentiated and transformative,” said J.P. Gallagher, president and CEO of the merged NorthShore and Edward-Elmhurst Health in a statement.
In addition to its other five hospitals—Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park, Northwest Community, and Skokie—NorthShore operates a multispecialty physician practice group across the greater Chicago region. With Edward-Elmhurst Health in the NorthShore family, the health system continues to fulfill its long-established mission to “preserve and improve human life,” which it strives to achieve through quality clinical care, academic excellence, and innovation in research.
Facts and Figures
NorthShore was the first Magnet-recognized organization in Illinois
In 2003, the system became one of the country’s first to implement an Electronic Medical Record
Its notable clinical programs include the Kellogg Cancer Center, High-Risk Maternity, the NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute, and others
The organization maintains a teaching affiliation with the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
The NorthShore Research Institute, created in 1996, is home to 200 faculty members working on more than 1,000 protocols in a 125,000-square-feet facility
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