The parent organization of Memorial Hospital of South Bend and Elkhart General Hospital finally has a name: Beacon Health System.
“What excites us about the Beacon Health System name and logo is that it represents light,” said Phil Newbold, chief executive officer for the organization. “It’s both directional and illuminating.”
The organization, which formed last November, encompasses both hospitals and their various physician practices, home care companies, urgent care centers, and fitness and wellness programs.
The two hospitals, both of which will retain their name and brand, have nearly 1,000 physicians combined, employ more than 6,000 team members and volunteers, and operate more than 1,000 hospital beds.
Some things were easy to integrate, Newbold said, because the two hospitals had much more in common than they had differences.
“We were able to integrate many of our support services — finance, information technology (that’s electronic medical record), our home care operations, and some marketing and planning functions quickly and easily,” he said, explaining that other areas such as clinical programs will take a little more time.
Integrating two big organizations is time-consuming and it’s all about “culture, culture, culture,” he explained.
“The trick is to not change those things that need to stay — our heritage, our traditions, what we’re proud of. But it’s also to let go of some things to move together in different ways. It’s that balance that is so tricky.”
But he believes the work will all pay off in the long term. Beacon estimates it will save close to $50 million annually just through group buying of medical supplies.
Newbold said Beacon has most of its governing and executive leadership in place. However, it is still looking for a vice president of human resources, a head for Beacon’s physicians’ groups and a home office for the parent organization halfway between the two hospitals.
Beacon was designed to allow other organizations to eventually join, and Newbold said that it has talked with some other organizations.
But for now the focus will remain on integrating the two hospitals.
Staff writer Alice Culp: