Agreement Will Strengthen Local Health Care Options, Goes into Effect June 30, 2014
Community Health Network (CHN) and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital (WRCMH) systems, which include non-profit community hospitals and clinics in Northeast Wisconsin, will begin integrating into ThedaCare on June 30.
The three systems’ board of trustees all approved contracts to affiliate and signed the papers last week, following three months of due diligence after they signed a letter of intent to affiliate. CHN and WRCMH will begin incorporating some shared processes and other steps that will align them with the ThedaCare system with full integration beginning in January 2015.
WRCMH CEO Don Caves said becoming part of the ThedaCare family is a win/win for employees and patients. “The changing healthcare environment is requiring organizations our size to look for ways to enhance healthcare quality, deliver healthcare more cost-effectively, reduce duplication and improve the patient experience,” said Caves. “This affiliation will allow us to serve all our patients’ needs.”
“The signing of the agreement is an important first step of a process that over time will bring our organizations together,” said John Feeney, CEO and president of CHN. “CHN and ThedaCare have worked well together in the past and we’re looking forward to joining the ThedaCare family. Our employees will become part of ThedaCare on January, 1, 2015, but integration efforts are already in motion.”
The integration benefits patients through access to more specialists in the community and a common electronic medical record between their primary care physician, specialists and the hospitals, said Dean Gruner, MD, CEO and president of ThedaCare. “This is an exciting opportunity for Waushara, Green Lake, Marquette and Fond du Lac county residents,” Dr. Gruner said. “We will now be able to work together even more than we have in the past to provide the best care possible to people living in our area.”
“We have already started to install our electronic medical records (EMR) at both organizations,” added Dr. Gruner. “A strong electronic infrastructure will be a critical tool to help our organizations communicate effectively and allow information to flow not only between CHN, WRCMH and ThedaCare, but also between other healthcare providers in the area using the Epic platform.”
In addition to having sharing medical records, the affiliation means:
- Streamlined access to care for patients
- Continuation of a strong local voice, including local Boards of Directors
- A no-layoff philosophy for all employees
- Access to more financial resources
- Participation in quality improvement projects that have led to reduced waiting times, improved patient care and a better patient experience at a lower cost
Community Health Network includes the CHN Medical Group (more than 35 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, providing services at two hospitals), Berlin Memorial Hospital, and 10 CHN Medical Centers (community-based primary care facilities) located throughout central Wisconsin. Medical Centers are located in four counties – Green Lake, Waushara, Fond du Lac and Marquette.
Wild Rose Community Memorial Health is a not-for-profit healthcare system consisting of Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital and four Waushara Family Physician clinics located in Wild Rose, Plainfield, Wautoma and Coloma.
ThedaCare (www.thedacare.org) is a community-owned health system consisting of Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, ThedaCare Physicians, and other health care services. Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with nearly 6,000 employees.