BRATTLEBORO >> Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health announced Tuesday the formalization of a strategic partnership to jointly deliver high-quality, value-based health care to the region, building on a history of collaborative initiatives among the three providers in the areas of oncology, radiology, and emergency medicine. The new partnership will focus on expanding collaborative opportunities in both administrative and clinical services.
"We have been collaborating for a long time," said Gina Pattison, BMH's Director of Development and Marketing. The partnership began several years ago with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center's oncology department and expanded when BMH was conducting its capital campaign for its renovated emergency department.
"Our emergency room doctors are actually Cheshire Med employees," said Pattison. "They work in both hospitals."
In addition, she said, BMH and Cheshire Med share a rheumatologist, a pediatrician and enterologist because they may not have enough patients for full-time at either hospital, but between the two, their schedules are full.
"It's important for people to know that even though we are collaborating, there is no change in ownership," said Pattison. "That's not in the discussion at all. We are only expanding on what we already have."
The three organizations have members in a joint operational committee, she said, which allows professionals to share information and identify areas where they can work together.
"This partnership reflects our shared commitment to providing excellent and high value care to our entire region," said BMH CEO and President Steven R. Gordon. "We already have a successful track record of collaborating on a number of clinical initiatives and look forward to building on those successes. We have complementary clinical services and share a common culture built on exceptional patient care, so we're well-positioned to work together as primary strategic collaborators for improving the access, value and quality of care in our region."
The strategic partnership establishes a joint management committee made up of senior management and board members from each health care provider, and reflects no changes in the leadership, management, or ownership of any of the partner entities. The committee will oversee a portfolio of collaboration initiatives and make recommendations regarding the operations of the collaboration to the partners' respective board of directors or board of trustees.
"Forming this regional partnership builds upon Cheshire's existing collaborations, allowing us to share and maintain high levels of specialty medical services throughout southeastern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire," said CMC/DHK CEO/President and Chief Medical Officer Don Caruso, MD, MPH. "We'll be able to improve local access to specialty care and seamlessly refer patients between services, while reinforcing the affordability of health care with financially strong and vibrant hospitals at the center of both Windham and Cheshire Counties."
"Collaborations with regional providers are key elements in our work to create a sustainable health system that will improve the lives of the people and communities we serve, for generations to come," said Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO and President Dr. James N. Weinstein. "To make care more effective, efficient, affordable, and convenient to our patients and their families, we need to find new models that ensure excellent care and highest quality to communities in the Keene, N.H., and Brattleboro area."