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DCHS takes step closer to joining Wisconsin-based health system

The Dickinson County Board of Commissioners and the DCHS Board of Trustees voted unanimously on the affiliation agreement with Marshfield Clinic Health System, Inc. Monday night
DCHS CEO Chuck Nelson (left) examines notes with DCHS Board of Trustees Member David Holmes...
DCHS CEO Chuck Nelson (left) examines notes with DCHS Board of Trustees Member David Holmes (right).(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 9:11 PM EST
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - The Dickinson County Board of Commissioners approved the agreement between Marshfield Clinic Health System and DCHS.

After 8 months of negotiations, the Dickinson County Healthcare System is one step closer to joining a Wisconsin-based health system.

“We’re really excited about this. I think it’s a great opportunity for us. Not just for the community, but the entire U.P.,” said Margaret Minerick, DCHS Board Chairperson.

DCHS announced its letter of intent to join Marshfield Clinic Health System, Inc. in October. After the grand re-opening of the emergency room. Marshfield has pledged $26 million in investment for the community.

“Money is always great, but what we want is their service to be there. As Marshfield is going to invest in our community, that only opens up a lot more economic development,” said Joe Stevens, Dickinson County Commissioner.

Some investments include a regional cancer treatment center, new radiology equipment, and over 1,400 providers DCHS now has access to. Minerick says it could take several months for Marshfield to transition to Dickinson County, but residents should not see a change in care.

This is the first time Marshfield is expanding outside of Wisconsin, and a new local board of advisors will be established.

“It’s locally controlled because we still have the same employees basically,” Minerick said.

The affiliation agreement now goes to Marshfield, where its board will vote on it Tuesday.

A Marshfield Clinic Health System spokesperson said:

“We’re excited to take the next step in this process, which when complete will bring together two organizations with similar values and commitment to putting patients at the center of everything we do. Bringing our services and expertise to the Upper Peninsula will complement the outstanding care teams already in place at DCH, and help propel continued expansion of services in the region. We look forward to completing the final steps in the coming weeks.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here for our community. I’m hoping that our community residents and constituents get behind us,” said Barbara Kramer, Dickinson County Commissioner.

Minerick says minor negotiations continue and DCHS will undergo re-branding if the agreement is finalized. DCHS CEO Chuck Nelson says he is hopeful that final closing will be completed by the end of the month or the beginning of 2022.

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