Message from the President

The Pursuit of Perfection

American football legend, Vince Lombardi, once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

Just as Vince coached athletes on the field, each of the more than 4,000 team members here at Lakeland have been tasked with a similar goal – to provide perfect patient care to every patient, everywhere, every time. While this may seem like a lofty feat, my hope is that in the pursuit of perfection we’ll catch excellence.

So how do we know that we’ve done a good job? How do we know that our patients have really felt how much we care? We see it in the smiles on their faces. We hear it in their gratitude, and we read it in their responses to patient satisfaction surveys.

In addition, others in the healthcare industry have recognized our strides toward perfection. I am proud to share that Lakeland Health was recently named one of the nation’s 15 Top U.S. health systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business. Truven Health Analytics is a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.

With a total of 337 health systems and 2,924 member hospitals evaluated, this recognition is a direct reflection of the work our team members are doing each and every day to provide high quality, compassionate care to our friends and neighbors in southwest Michigan.

Just as football players score touchdowns, our work was rated on a scorecard which focused on five performance domains including: inpatient outcomes, process of care, extended outcomes, efficiency, and patient experience.

When compared to our competitors, the 15 Top U.S. Health Systems outperformed their peers in a number of ways. Together we:

  • Saved 66,000 more lives and caused 43,000 fewer patient complications
  • Scored nearly 7 points higher on patient overall rating of care
  • Had nearly 18 percent shorter wait times in our emergency departments
  • Released patients from the hospital a half day sooner and had a 10.2 percent shorter length of hospital stays overall

I think if Vince took a look at Lakeland’s journey to achieve perfection over the last decade, he’d have to agree that being ranked as a 15 Top U.S. Health System feels a lot like winning the Super Bowl. To learn more about the Truven Health Analytics 15 Top U.S. Health Systems, or to view the full report, visit

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