Pulling It All Together: Former Beaumont Health leader fills new physician network role for Munson Healthcare

A former executive with a $4.5 billion health care system in southeast Michigan has joined Munson Healthcare’s senior leadership team. Laura Glenn filled the role of vice president of physician network in mid-December.

It’s a new position – with a much broader scope – for the nine-hospital northern Michigan healthcare system.

Glenn replaced Tim Binder, who had served as vice president of physician integration for Munson Medical Center since 2011 before retiring last year.

“My role is a system-wide scope with local leadership teams to better support our physicians,” said Glenn. Munson Healthcare has approximately 950 physicians belonging to one of the nine hospitals’ medical staffs.

With significant growth in recent years, including acquisitions of Mercy Hospital Cadillac, Mercy Hospital Grayling and Manistee Hospital, Glenn said her focus is on how Munson Healthcare functions as a system, specifically “integrating and linking” providers to improve access to quality medical care.

Three months into the job, Glenn is in the midst of integrating a new electronic medical record (EMR) in provider offices, a project that will be “huge” for the system in reporting data and other benefits, she said. The EMR implementation will also help standardization throughout the system to gain further efficiencies.

Glenn is also focused on development of a system-wide strategy for the physician network, specifically how to structure it to create system-wide resources and enhance support across the 24 counties that Munson Healthcare serves.

Glenn came to Munson from Beaumont Health in Southfield, Michigan –the state’s largest health care system with $4.5 billion in annual revenue and approximately 5,000 employed physicians – and a very different health care climate.

“It’s hyper-competitive downstate,” said Glenn. “Here the leadership talks about the needs of the community … you see how committed Munson is to northern Michigan’s needs. That’s very different than downstate, where the discussion is on the competition.”

Most recently, Glenn served as senior vice president and executive director of Beaumont Health Physician Partners and Beaumont Medical Group, comprised of approximately 1,000 physicians along with a large independent physician network. Prior to that she served in other leadership roles for Beaumont Health, including vice president of physician services, director of surgical services program development and assistant hospital director at North Oakland Medical Center in Pontiac.

She was recognized in Oakland County Executive Elite’s 40 Under 40 in 2015 and Crain’s Detroit Business 40 Under 40 in 2012.

She said family in the area – and the new challenge at Munson – were major draws for her to head north.

“I’m very impressed by the senior leadership here and the culture,” said Glenn. “I’m also interested in the ‘system’ part of it and to build something … to have the ability to have a broader impact within a system.”
Glenn said there are “a lot of opportunities” in her new role.

“We’ve aligned with a lot of physicians very quickly,” she said. “There is a need for a greater level of support and to improve the infrastructure of both employed and aligned physicians. We’re currently not leveraging all of the resources. We need to act like a system to help us retain and support these physicians.”

One example of that work is with Northern Physicians Organization (NPO), a 30-year-old physican-led organization in Traverse City.

“NPO is a high-performing physician organization,” said Glenn. “Many of our employed physicians are members of NPO. We need to figure out how we want to work together, finding that right type of partnership.”

Glenn is the latest addition to the leadership team from larger healthcare systems, a trend she said brings different perspectives that are good for the organization. Thomas Peterson, M.D., vice president of quality and safety, joined the system from SCL Health System in Denver in June 2017 and Chief Medical Officer Christine Nefcy worked as a chief medical officer at Intermountain Healthcare, a 22-hospital system based in Salt Lake City, Utah, before joining Munson in September 2016.