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Meet Barbara Rossmann

Posted on May 17, 2016

Advancing Macomb Board member featured this issue is Vice Chair, Barbara Rossmann, president and CEO of Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals. Rossmann’s commitment to the southeast Michigan region extends beyond her work through Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals. She serves as a board member for the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber, the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Healthcare, the Michigan chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives; the Macomb Health Plan; the Families Against Narcotics Advisory Board; the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Statewide Campus System; the 5/3 Bank Eastern Division Board of Directors, as vice chair of the Southeast Michigan Red Cross board, and a member of the Michigan Hospital Association’s Legislative Policy Panel.

What does Macomb mean to you?

Mark Hackel’s Make Macomb Your Home campaign really rings true for me. The community values align very much with my personal values.  When I transitioned within the hospital from the COO position to CEO in 2004, it gave me an opportunity to be even closer to our community…really to give me an understanding of our different cultures and differing needs.

As I’ve come to know and truly love Macomb County, I have developed a passion for not only advancing the services available when our community needs health care, but also reaching out to serve in a very different way. I believe our future as a county rests in our abilities to think outside the box. We must forge innovative relationships, and partnerships that ensure the best use of community resources.  Fortunately, innovation and a commitment to continuous improvements in quality of life are core drivers for Macomb County’s future.

Does Macomb have the talent of tomorrow for health care?

Yes.  Because of the innovative, talented and entrepreneurial nature of the county, we have been able to develop and staff the basic and advanced care our region needs and deserves..

Within Macomb Community College and Baker College, we have superior resources and partnerships to further enhance health care locally.  We have talent working both within the hospital setting and outside of the hospital – moving to population health – taking care of health care within the community. Through emerging population health initiatives, health care systems, agencies and organizations are learning to work more closely together in order to improve the health outcomes of the communities we collectively serve. For example, at Henry Ford Macomb, we have formal relationships with schools, churches, even those fighting opioid addiction, in order to impact health BEFORE people come to the hospital. Essentially, hospitals are moving their health care delivery out of the hospital and into the community, keeping health care closer to home.

What does Macomb offer for health and health care?

We have a great blend of amazing health care organizations in McLaren Macomb, St. John Macomb, Troy Beaumont and Henry Ford Macomb.  Each system offers very fine physicians that support the organizations and the community.

Because there are many external factors comprising a person’s health – social, environmental and the community in which you live — community attributes are important.  In Macomb, we can go any place and do anything.  Walking and bike trails, parks, the waterways, health education…..  Is it everything?  No, I think we could do better in the county for more holistic stress reduction solutions.  Solutions such as massage, reiki, acupuncture to replace traditional methods of medicating stress relief.

Mt. Clemens evolved from its history as destination for mineral baths, an early example of non-traditional health care.  Health and wellness– outside of traditional medical care – are foundational to Mt. Clemens and Macomb County.

What are Macomb’s health challenges?

We aren’t as healthy as we need to be.  We have high instances of high-blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure, COPD, emphysema.  There is also a serious problem with opioid addiction. It’s everywhere, in every generation and in every socio-economic class.

Tell me about Henry Ford’s presence in Macomb?

It is my goal for Henry Ford to be a substantive part of the community, and to ensure that we are doing what is necessary to serve the community.  Our collective commitment to Macomb County recognizes our role in the future. Henry Ford is the fifth largest employer in the county, and counts more than 900 of the region’s top doctors among its medical staff members. I am extremely proud of the nationally recognized quality we are delivering. At the same time, we recognize that a hospital can be an intimidating, scary place. You come to us often in your most vulnerable state – and we ask you to disrobe and to trust us! My promise to the patients and families we serve is that we will do everything possible to make you welcome, to make you comfortable, and to provide loving, embracing care – whether it’s in the hospital or out in the community.

What are your favorite destinations in Macomb?

I love driving around the county and discovering new places…going into the northern part of the county and wandering around.  On the weekends my husband and I will sometimes go driving, find a dirt road and follow it.  On our last outing, we pleasantly landed at the Crooked Creek Dairy – and what a wonderful surprise!

I hope that we are able to appreciate our history as a farming community and not let that fade away.

The trails are amazing and our commitment to the trails is amazing.  I love Partridge Creek.  When my grandkids visit, we really enjoy taking them to the orchards.  None of these are in order of preference – we have so many options in Macomb, you can really choose what fits your mood at a particular time.

Why Advancing Macomb?

Our role with Advancing Macomb is to bring business leaders together from all sectors to advance our vision for Macomb.

We have a  commitment to raise money to make substantive statements in the community…about what is important in the community.

Tell me about Barbara Rossmann.  What is a core value for you?

Personally – it’s family.  In business – I’m driven by partnerships and relationships and accountability based on the commitments we’ve made.

People and community are top priorities for me.  I served in a community in Texas before moving to Michigan as the Chief Nursing Officer with Mercy Health Services in Farmington Hills.  In corporate roles, you aren’t as connected to the community and I wanted to get back to where health care is truly delivered – in the community, with the community.

Advancing Macomb originated because of a professional and business involvement and it has become a personal commitment.  It’s about the people in the community and the relationships in the organization.