A Note from the City Manager

McLaren Health Care

West Branch Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Monday, December 2, 2019

4:30 pm

McLaren Health System, dates its founding in Flint, Michigan to 1914, as a 10-bed hospital on Harrison Street, and was known as the Women’s hospital, serving mothers and children. Construction on a new facility on Ballenger HWY. began in 1949. A  new 243-bed facility opened in 1951, and operated under a new name, as McLaren General Hospital, named after Margret McLaren, RN, whom served as Superintendent of the Women’s hospital for nearly 30 years.

On a personal note, in 1954, as a newborn, I was transferred at birth to the new McLaren hospital.

Since its founding, the name of the system has changed, and while remaining a major presence in the Flint area, has greatly expanded throughout Michigan. They now have facilities and clinics in over 200 locations.

McLaren Health care is not new to West Branch. For several years, it has provided small medical practices, and Practitioners offering medical care to the area.

The new West Branch facility began planning in 2017 and 2018, as McLaren evaluated an expanded presence in the West Branch area. McLaren decided on a unique approach, by creating a fully self-contained medical facility, offering a whole host of specialty clinics, labs and with a 24/7 emergency center on the site of a re-developed former Kmart store, that had been vacated a number of years ago.

On an ongoing basis, McLaren leadership has conducted extensive research on the areas medical needs, identifying deficiencies and what an expanded McLaren presence could offer.

McLaren has a storied history, and a sterling reputation as a health provider and an employer. McLaren known for listening to the communities that it serves and identifying ways it can contribute to serving the medically underserved, and those facing systemic social issues that it can have a life changing impact.

This new facility, along with expansions of other medical practices, is rapidly creating West Branch as a medical hub, serving the greater Northeast Michigan area.

Like most rural communities we have a host of community needs, and as they listen and learn about the great West Branch area, they will help to fashion permanent responses to the Opioid crisis and the devastation of Substance abuse; mental health services and responses to those youth and families needing suicide interventions and treatment; and the ongoing need for local pediatrics and OGBY services for new mothers and children.

The City is in talks with all of the area health care providers about the need for a response to the opioid crisis and the deficiencies that our City faces for providing early child care service from birth to 3 years of age.

As McLaren leadership continues building on their mission and outreach, we encourage them to continue listening and reaching out to the community.

While many individuals have been responsible for the planning and development of this greatly needed facility, the interest and ability to communicate that two individuals have shown, will be fundamental to McLarens success here. Magen SAMYA, Vice President of Development and Anthony Bair, Patient Care Services Manager, there interest in becoming part of the West Branch community has been much appreciated.

For McLaren, as you unroll your various services, the City of West Branch is committed to your success in this expanded role. We would urge patience as local individuals and families learn about the services that you offer and the convenience. 

The City is especially grateful for this state of art facility, and medical treatment services, that are going to be provided by new medical providers and medical staff that are joining the McLaren team.

The City of West Branch welcomes you.

Frank Goodroe

City Manager