Chelsea Community Hospital has indeed been a success by many measures—patient satisfaction, medical outcomes, fund-raising, professional talent, community connection. Its nationally known head pain clinic and other specialized services draw from well outside Washtenaw County.
As the largest employer in Chelsea, the hospital is an engine of the area’s economy, as well as a meeting place and a location for fund-raising events and award banquets. “They’ve been such a good corporate citizen,” says mayor Ann Feeney. “They support so much with money and advertising dollars.”
But after the sale, the hospital will no longer be run locally. Chelsea Community Hospital will keep its name and a local board of directors, but the key decisions will be made by St. Joe’s and its parent, Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth-largest nonprofit health care organization. Trinity owns or manages forty-four hospitals with $6 billion in annual revenues.
Some residents wonder if fewer services will be available locally. “Nobody wants to see any of the programs cut,” says Maggie Roberts, owner of Service First Home Care in Chelsea, who worked at the hospital part time for a decade.