United Methodist Retirement Communities and Porter Hills Presbyterian Village finalized their decision to affiliate Friday at a press conference and official signing event at LeadingAge Michigan.

The two entities, which first announced their intentions to consider joint governance and leadership in late August, combined represent a $150 million organization that employs more than 1,300 people and serves more than 6,700 older adults annually across 22 counties in Michigan. The affiliation creates the third-largest nonprofit senior living organization in the state and puts it in the top 75 nonprofit senior living organizations in the United States according to the 2017 LeadingAge Ziegler 150, UMRC and PH said.

“Together, our organizations’ ability to share widely recognized best practices, knowledge and financial resources will achieve superior results for older adults and create an even greater dynamic in Michigan’s senior living marketplace,” said John Nixon III, chair of the UMRC governing board. “This is important, as the latest demographics show Michigan as the fastest-aging state in the nation.”

Chelsea, MI-based UMRC is now the sole shareholder of Grand Rapids, MI-based PH; previously, the share was held by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Both UMRC and PH will maintain separate foundations and separate boards, with representatives of both organizations serving on each board. They do not plan to change their names, citing the strength of both brands.

“We worked thoughtfully to ensure not just the right financial and operational fit, but the right culture and ethos for a truly strong partnership,” said Mary Wagner, chair of the Porter Hills governing board. “We are pleased at the outcome and optimistic about the future.”

The UMRC and PH senior leadership teams will combine to become one joint strategic team, with UMRC’s Stephen Fetyko and John Thorhauer serving the joint organization as interim CEO and president/chief strategy officer, respectively, until both boards choose a president and CEO.

The organizations share a combined 24 service lines and locations, Wagner said. “Current service lines will grow to meet future needs of older adults, and there are no planned staffing changes at the direct-care or individual-location level,” she added.

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