MyMichigan Health Receives Designation in Nursing Excellence, Culture fuels Magnet Program Success

Culture. The culture of MyMichigan Health is the key to their success, their stamina and what paves the way to receiving recognition from multiple organizations and publications. Recently, the health system received The Magnet Recognition Program designation, something only fourteen other hospitals in the state of Michigan can put on their resume.

Receiving this designation, the gold standard of nursing excellence, is not a sprint, but a marathon as it takes an average of seven years to complete all requirements. Just as it takes many years, it takes many people to be successful. “The number one thing that has led to the success of receiving this recognition is our people. Our nursing staff, leaders, board, community and our donors – the local foundations – have all played a role in making this happen. Having shared values and a shared vision made this happen,” shares Tammy Terrell, M.S.N., B.S.N., vice president and chief nursing officer, MyMichigan Health. Though the staff and Board were aware of this program, it took the driving force of their beloved late CEO Diane Postler-Slatterly to initiate the process in order to receive the designation.
 Tammy Terrell and Ruth Kitzmiller
Throughout the process to earn this high achievement, MyMichigan Health has had to navigate the “new normal” brought by COVID-19, the 500-year flood in Midland, and the tragic and sudden loss of their CEO. When asked how the staff was able to overcome these major obstacles and still receive this distinction, Ruth Kitzmiller, M.S.A., B.S.N., R.N., N.E.-B.C., Magnet program director, MyMichigan Health states, “Our staff - from bedside nurses to leaders – the whole hospital – rose to every occasion. Oftentimes, it seems that people would show their worst in times like this, but they blossomed. Our staff didn’t run from what was going on, they ran toward it and embraced it.” Terrell chimes in, “Collaboration and transparency have gotten us through a lot. We have all worked together – from the leaders to board members to the nurses that treat our patients – we make decisions together. It’s really the culture.”
The Magnet Recognition Program designates organizations worldwide where nursing leaders successfully align their nursing strategic goals to improve the organization’s patient outcomes. The Magnet Recognition Program provides a roadmap to nursing excellence, which benefits the whole of an organization. To nurses, Magnet Recognition means education and development through every career stage, which leads to greater autonomy at the bedside. To patients, it means the very best care, delivered by nurses who are supported to be the very best that they can be.
 Staff gathering to celebrate to celebrate the Magnet recognition.
Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to health care organizations and their communities, such as:
• Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help and receipt of discharge information.
• Lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates.
• Higher job satisfaction among nurses.
• Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.
 The Magnet Recognition Program provides a roadmap to nursing excellence.
This designation lasts for four years before it expires and MyMichigan Health is already gearing up for their next application. “Raising the bar pushes MyMichigan to keep doing better,” shares Kitzmiller. University of Washington Medical Center recently received their seventh designation, something MyMichigan Health is striving to achieve as they continue to provide high level care.
The Magnet recognition inspires staff to do their very best and makes them want to be a part of a thriving organization. So, it comes as no surprise that MyMichigan Health was named to Forbes “America’s Best Employers By State” list. In conjunction with research firm Statista, Forbes conducted an anonymous survey of 70,000 Americans who work for companies of 500+ employees. MyMichigan Health came in second in Michigan and 31st overall out of 1,382 employers across the country, 262 of which were hospitals and health systems.

This is the first time the Midland-based health system has been named to the list. When asked to speak to this recognition, Terell and Kitzmiller said “it’s the culture!” Both women agreed that mutual respect, shared values and the way that MyMichigan invests in their employees make it a great place to work.

About MyMichigan Health
MyMichigan Health, a non-profit health system headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is a leader in providing award-winning, high-quality care to the 25-county region it serves. With Medical Centers in Alma, Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Midland, Mt. Pleasant, Sault Ste. Marie and West Branch, MyMichigan also has affiliations with Medical Centers in St. Ignace and Mackinac Island. MyMichigan Health provides a full continuum of care across a wide array of settings, including urgent care centers, home health, virtual care, as well as medical offices in more than 30 specialties and subspecialties including cardiology, family medicine, hematology/oncology, neurosciences, orthopedics, pediatrics, vascular surgery, and more.

MyMichigan Health demonstrates its commitment to the future of medicine by partnering with leading institutions to offer medical education programs that train medical students, physicians, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students, nursing students and other clinical experts for our region. Its more than 8,800 employees, volunteers, health care providers and other personnel work together to create healthy communities through solutions designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the 981,000 residents in the health system’s 25-county service area. In fiscal year 2021, MyMichigan Health provided $78 million in community benefits, as well as supported its patients

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Carly Lillard.

Carly Lillard moved to the Great Lakes Bay Region in 2007 from Traverse City. Since that time, she’s graduated from Northwood University and held positions at Dow, Northwood University, Midland Area Community Foundation, Shelterhouse and Youth For Understanding. Currently, Carly is working as the Director of Philanthropy and Strategic Relationships at Holy Cross Services while completing her Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in Strategic Communication. When she’s not writing, you will find her spending time with her husband, Jesse, and two children, Maycie and Elias. Carly can be reached at