June 14, 2011 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
FRANKFORT, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Officials of three major Kentucky health care organizations announced today that their boards have formally approved plans to form a health care delivery system to meet the needs of all of the people of Kentucky and beyond.
"At the same time, we will work to lower costs as we advocate for the poor and underserved in our communities"
The new system will include the University of Louisville Hospital/James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare based in Louisville, and Saint Joseph Health System based in Lexington.
The partnership agreement still must receive regulatory and Church approvals before becoming effective, which could take 12 months.
Following a joint news conference in Frankfort, leaders representing each of the partner organizations hit the road to share the news at joint events in Bardstown, Lexington and Louisville.
"There is so much more we can accomplish together. Most important, we will be increasing access to basic and advanced health services. That will lead to improving the health not only of individual patients, but of entire communities," said Bob Hewett, who will be the first chair of the system's community board of trustees. Hewett is a long-time board member of the Saint Joseph Health System, including his time as chair of its predecessor board (Saint Joseph HealthCare). "At the same time, we will work to lower costs as we advocate for the poor and underserved in our communities," he said.
The system will combine the faith-based and academic heritages of the partners, integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. The network will collaborate with all health care providers, enhancing existing relationships and developing new partnerships.
One benefit of integration is the opportunity to efficiently move research from bench to bedside, improving health care outcomes, according to the partners. Plans call for expanding the academic medical center in Louisville to include the University of Louisville Hospital, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Institute, and extending the research and teaching programs of the University of Louisville statewide through an academic affiliation agreement with the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
The new system will bring together academic and community physicians, creating a medical staff of more than 3,000 physicians across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The use of technology - especially telemedicine - will enable network physicians to expand access to specialty care that many communities have not had available before. For example, Saint Joseph hospitals and the University of Louisville Hospital currently use telemedicine robots to provide stroke, neurology and other specialty consultations in partnership with other facilities.
The sponsors of the health system are Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, University of Louisville and Catholic Health Initiatives, a national nonprofit health organization based in Denver, Colo. Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare was formed in 2005 through a joint venture between Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services and Catholic Health Initiatives. Saint Joseph Health System is also part of Catholic Health Initiatives.
Plans call for Catholic Health Initiatives to make an incremental capital infusion of $320 million in support of the system's mission and health care services statewide. In addition, the new system will invest $200 million in capital to expand the academic medical center in Louisville and $100 million in statewide health care services.
"We see a healthier future for the Commonwealth," said Hewett, "by combining our efforts to address the serious health challenges faced by the people of Kentucky."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association, Kentucky ranks among the 10 states with the worst health indicators in the nation for cancer, obesity and death due to heart disease and stroke. More than half of the state is designated as medically underserved and there is a growing scarcity of physicians across Kentucky.
The network will include hospitals, clinics, specialty institutions, home health agencies, satellite primary care centers and physician groups with 91 locations combined.
Until they have received regulatory approvals, the partners will continue to operate as separate organizations.
More information, photography, video, and b-roll on the partnering organizations and updates on the system can be found at www.partnershipprogress.org.
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare (JHSMH) is a regional health network providing both primary and specialty medical care in more than 70 health care facilities with approximately 7,850 team members and 1,900 patient beds in Kentucky and southern Indiana. It has been nationally ranked in the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies.
Saint Joseph Health System includes eight regional facilities with 1,012 licensed beds, approximately 5,000 employees and 1,300 physicians on its medical staffs. Combined, the member facilities have been recognized 20 times as being among the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters.
The University of Louisville Hospital, established in 1817, is a 404-bed facility and the primary adult teaching hospital for the UofL School of Medicine. It operates the region's only adult Level I trauma center and operates Kentucky's first certified stroke center, first nationally accredited breast center and first hospital-based telemedicine network. Aligned with the hospital, The James Graham Brown Cancer Center offers the area's most advanced cancer treatment with specialists working in multidisciplinary teams who have received national recognition for research and participation in clinical trials, as well as translating research into today's medical practice.
Catholic Health Initiatives is a national, nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 72 hospitals; and 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; and two community health services organizations. CHI is the nation's third-largest Catholic health care system.
Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services traces its history to 1903 when a group of prominent Jewish businessmen met and founded a hospital to provide health care for poor immigrant Jews and to create a non-sectarian institution that would treat both paying and non-paying members of the entire community and provide a setting where Jewish physicians could practice medicine, pursue research and treat patients. In the decades since its founding, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services has grown into a nationally recognized organization that has contributed a number of medical firsts in the world, nation and region.
The University of Louisville is Kentucky's premier metropolitan research university. Boasting more than 170 fields of study in 12 colleges and schools, UofL offers its 22,000 students world-class opportunities in many nationally and internationally ranked undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Through its service mission, the university is addressing the needs of Louisville and other Kentucky metropolitan areas with hundreds of partnerships in education, business and economic development, and healthcare. One of America's fastest-growing research universities, UofL is focusing on translational research that can move quickly from the lab to the marketplace.
Catholic Health Initiatives
Mary Elise Biegert, 502-558-4451
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare
Jeff Polson, 502-939-4212
Saint Joseph Health System
Jeff Murphy, 859-421-8371
University of Louisville
Gary Mans, 502-594-6014
David McArthur, 502-648-3411