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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Spectrum Health will begin extending insurance benefits to same-sex partners in 2015.

Hospital system officials confirmed last week the change will take effect in January. The new policy offers benefits for legally married gay couples and couples who can demonstrate they’re in a committed relationship. Their children will also be covered.

Spectrum is Kent County’s largest employer with 22,400 staff members.

Spectrum senior vice president Roger Jansen says the policy is an important part of the system’s inclusion and diversity strategy and will help employee recruitment and retention. He says there has been “zero negative reaction” to the new policy from employees and administrators have received “a number of thank-you letters.”