Kansas City hospitals form new partnership with heart surgeons

Feb. 8, 2010, KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In an agreement effective today, Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City and North Kansas City Hospital are partnering with Mid America Heart and Lung Surgeons (MAHLS) in an innovative new hospital-physician arrangement.

Five MAHLS physicians have provided heart and vascular surgical care at the two hospitals since 2004 as an independent physician practice. Now they will provide surgical services to patients at Saint Luke's Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital through a new physician practice model. As in the past, heart transplant services will continue to be provided only at Saint Luke's Hospital.

The two hospitals signed a contract over the weekend to create the new physician practice which contracts for the services of Mid America Heart and Lung Surgeons.

"We see this partnership as beneficial, not only to the community, but also to the health care profession. Although patients will not directly notice a change in their care, this new model does set a new standard in our nation for cooperation among competitive hospitals," said David Carpenter, CEO of North Kansas City Hospital.

Physicians in the group include A. Michael Borkon, M.D., CEO of MAHLS, Keith B. Allen, M.D., Alexander Pak, M.D., Richard S. Stuart, M.D., and James R. Stewart, M.D.

One immediate outcome of the new partnership is the addition of two new surgeons, J. Russell Davis, M.D. and Sanjeev Aggarwal, M.D., both joining this month. This brings the group up to a full complement of seven surgeons.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to grow our practice and strengthen our relationship with the communities we serve," said Dr. Borkon. "We are honored by the trust these hospitals and our patients put in us."

"Saint Luke's Hospital is proud of its long history providing leading-edge heart care in Kansas City, including the region's only heart transplant program. These cardiovascular surgeons are committed to high quality and innovative heart care and we are pleased to form this new partnership," said Julie Quirin, CEO of Saint Luke's Hospital.

The group will continue to provide a full range of cardiovascular surgical services with a focus on quality patient outcomes, medical research and education, and maintaining the best compliment of surgeons.

Financial and other business details related to the new agreement will not be disclosed.

About NKCH

More people choose North Kansas City Hospital for their care which ranks the facility as the busiest hospital in metro Kansas City for inpatient admissions as well as adult and pediatric visits to the Northland Emergency Center. With over 3,000 employees, the Hospital consistently ranks as a top employer in the metro area. Five Centers of Excellence define the Hospital's services and they include Northland Cardiac Center, Northland Cancer Center, Northland Women's Center, Northland Orthopedic Center and Northland Emergency Center. The Hospital opened in 1958 and serves Clay and Platte Counties as well as a secondary service area of 17 counties.

About Saint Luke's Hospital

Saint Luke's Hospital is a member of Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 11 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.