Dr. Thomas Wright is shown talking to two medical professionals.
Dr. Thomas Wright sees himself as a utility player who connects the dots to improve patient experiences. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Thomas Wright, DO, has spent his entire medical career caring for people in smaller towns.

First in Greenfield, Ohio, then Port Huron, Michigan, and now Big Rapids where he has served for the past 16 years.

As the regional division chief for Spectrum Health Medical Group, Dr. Wright brings Big Rapids and Reed City physicians together.

He “cross-pollinates” their skills and talents at both hospitals and helps train the next generation of physician leaders.

He also helped launch the hospitalist program in Big Rapids, which led to greater efficiencies and quality of care by creating deeper alignment between hospital staff and local primary care physicians.

Finding ways to serve the community has been a common thread throughout Dr. Wright’s career.

“I try to plug holes,” he explained. “I’m a utility player. If there’s a job that needs to be done, I do it.”

The same can be said for the close relationship between Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals. By sharing medical expertise, innovation and organizational practices, the two hospitals—serving in many ways as one—are more useful to our communities than ever before.

With the two hospitals only 13 miles apart, the integration gives patients the best of both worlds, including comprehensive cancer treatment in Reed City and the birthing center in Big Rapids.

Instead of duplicating efforts, each location can focus on core strengths. It’s also much easier now for staff to view records between the two hospitals.

For Dr. Wright, integrating the two campuses are clear: “You can’t merge and remain the same. But our goal is to have the knowledge and resources available within the Spectrum Health family, all without losing our local feel.”