8 Companies Play Growing Role in Northern Michigan Economy

Munson Medical Center

It’s impossible to live in Traverse City and not be aware of Munson Medical Center’s expanding footprint in recent years. A new emergency center opens. A new cardiac care tower rises. Bulldozers scrape bare a street-corner lot to make way for a new cancer center. Such expansion has boosted Munson’s employee count to roughly 4,000 today, making Munson one of the largest employers north of Grand Rapids.

Munson has a low employee turnover rate, 8 percent, but even at that, the HR department filled 373 positions for Munson Medical Center last year. Add in the other entities, and Munson ended up hiring 557 people in 2012, including 113 nurses and 139 nursing assistants. But getting in is still not easy: Munson processed 20,000 job applications last year.

When Human Resources director Jeff Rose and clinical recruiter Gina Ranger look ahead, they see needs arising as new skill sets are demanded by the evolving health care industry. One notable area is clinical documentation specialists, people who closely track the services a patient receives and makes sure all the appropriate diagnostic codes are recorded so reimbursement to the hospital is as complete as possible. The other noteworthy staffing challenges on the horizon are planning for replacements of longtime staff as they retire in coming years and adjusting to the impact of healthcare reform.

And like hospitals across the nation, Munson is in the very competitive hunt for specialized medical staff like surgeons and cardiac care nurses. Fortunately for the recruiting staff, Munson has a great story to tell, having been named a Top 100 hospital more than nearly any hospital in the nation and being situated in a beautiful place. “We spend tremendous energy telling that story,” Rose says.

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