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SMC graduates to hear Dr. Hamel May 4

Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees April 15 announced Loren B. Hamel, M.D., as speaker for SMC’s 52nd Commencement on May 4. Dr. Hamel serves as president of Spectrum Health Lakeland, based in southwest Michigan, and is chief strategy officer at Spectrum Health. Prior to the two health systems integrating in 2018, he served as chief executive officer of Lakeland Health for nine years, holding various other executive roles with the organization over the previous decade.

“The Board of Trustees is very excited that Dr. Hamel is this year’s Commencement speaker, as he will offer insights for students as they enter their careers,” Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon said. “He has keen insight into the health care industry and is a great supporter of SMC’s programs and new nursing building project completed recently.”

As CEO, Dr. Hamel successfully folded into the Lakeland system the largest multi-specialty medical practice in Berrien County; the former Community Hospital, Watervliet; and Hospice at Home, which resulted in the area’s only dedicated hospice residence.

Organizational culture improvements are a hallmark of Dr. Hamel’s leadership. Through his “Bring Your Heart to Work” initiative, featured in Harvard Business Review, he shared his vision for connecting caregivers’ tasks to the heartfelt needs of those they serve.

Dr. Hamel’s leadership philosophy is centered on achieving the quality and performance results all health-care providers are called to produce, balanced with providing heartfelt care for patients and team members.

Under Dr. Hamel’s leadership, Lakeland launched a system-wide electronic health record and the organization became first in the state of Michigan, as well as in the region, to be certified at Stage 7 by HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Analytics.  

Dr. Hamel was a founding member of Affirmant Health Partners – the state’s largest clinically integrated network, composed of six of Michigan’s leading health systems, to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care and to improve the health of residents. He was named chairman of Affirmant Health Partners in July 2017 and serves as past president and current board member for Michigan Health and Hospital Association Executive Committee. He is on the board for Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance and co-chair of Michigan’s Great Southwest Leadership Council.

Dr. Hamel graduated with honors from Andrews University in Berrien Springs before going on to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif. He also holds a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

An experienced family physician, Dr. Hamel treated southwest Michigan residents for 23 years at University Medical Specialties in Berrien Springs. He is married to Ann Hamel, Ph.D.