Elizabethtown Community Hospital
Two New York hospitals will join with two from Vermont to create a regional chain of heath care providers.
Community Providers, Inc., the corporate parent of Elizabethtown Community Hospital and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, announced that the New York State Department of Health had approved a corporate affiliation with Fletcher Allen Partners, the parent organization of Fletcher Allen Health Care based in Burlington and Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin.
The affiliation took effect Jan. 1, and is subject to confirmation by the New York Supreme Court, which is expected within 45 days. The affiliation was approved by the boards of the participating organizations earlier in 2012.
“It brings the four of us together as brother/sister hospitals,” ECH CEO Rod Boula said. “It makes sense to have this type of affiliation with a hospital that we are already working with.”
ECH and Fletcher Allen are not strangers to each other, as the Elizabethtown hospital uses their services when it comes to severe trauma and stroke patients.
“We had already had a connection there through telemedicine because they have been receiving our trauma patients,” ECH Director of Community Relations Jane Hooper said.
“We want to look at improving the telemedicine piece that is already there and have increased connectivity with CVPH as well as Fletcher Allen,” Boula said.
On a business side, Boula added that the merger brings better bargaining power and the ability to do things cheaper as a group instead of just one hospital at a time. He also said that the merger could lead to medical students participating in rotations at ECH.
“That is something that would be a benefit because when it comes to recruitment in a small hospital, it would be nice to have the students come in to Elizabethtown and see that there are these options available to them.”
“Fletcher Allen Partners holds incredible potential for the patients and communities located within the boundaries of this innovative regional approach to addressing health care needs,” Stephens Mundy, president and CEO of CVPH Medical Center said. “Given our evolving health care delivery system, now is the time for collaboration in order to achieve the best access to quality care, outcomes and cost effectiveness.”
“The biggest thing for the patient is that this will add to the continuity of care and give them improved access to specialists and services by being part of this system,” Boula said. “For us, there is only so much we can offer being a primary care provider. There is a lot of exciting stuff that will be happening. The biggest thing for the patient is to have those increased avenues for care.”
As for organization, Fletcher Allen Partners will have a 27-member board of trustees that will include 14 members from Fletcher Allen, seven members from CPI and six members from CVMC. Fletcher Allen President and CEO Dr. Brumsted is CEO of the system parent; CVMC President and CEO Judy Tartaglia will serve as the executive vice president of the Vermont Community Hospital Division, and Mundy will be the executive vice president for Northern New York.