St. Joseph's Hospital and Arnot Ogden Medical Center, both of Elmira, N.Y., plan to affiliate under a new parent company that has yet to be named.
In January, the facilities signed an agreement to partner and are seeking regulatory approval from the New York State Department of Health. Donald Hartman, president and chief executive of St. Joseph's, said the affiliation is on an aggressive timeline. The deal is expected to be finalized later this year, with full implementation happening by 2014.
Under the affiliation, St. Joseph's and Arnot will continue to provide acute care services. Both will have representation on a governing board. Plans call for each hospital to have what administrators call centers of excellence, or areas in which they specialize. Planners have yet to identify which centers will be at each hospital.
Under the affiliation plan, St. Joseph's will remain Catholic, and Arnot, a secular not-for-profit.
Dr. S. Jan Eberhard will chair the board of the new corporation and Anthony Cooper will be president and chief executive. Currently, Eberhard is Arnot's board chair, and Cooper is its president and chief executive.
Hartman said St. Joseph's has been investigating partnership opportunities for about three decades but has been stymied by political and other hurdles. Several years ago, the hospital was in talks to join Guthrie Healthcare System of Sayre, Pa., but a state commission said St. Joseph's should discuss affiliation with Arnot instead. St. Joseph's has been in on-again-off-again talks with both potential partners since. When St. Joseph's requested formal affiliation proposals recently, both Guthrie and Arnot responded.
St. Joseph's and Arnot have received a $20 million grant through the New York State Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers. They will use the funding to further their partnership.
Hartman said it is difficult for faith-based, not-for-profit health care providers to maintain their mission of caring for the underserved. That is especially true today because of economic pressures, declining reimbursements and other challenges, he said. The St. Joseph's-Arnot affiliation will allow both facilities to reduce redundancies in the local health care system and to work together to address challenges.
Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association
of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby
or call (314) 253-3477.