Columbia St. Mary's Partnership Proposed
MILWAUKEE (April 1, 2007) — Columbia St. Mary’s and Froedtert & Community Health have signed a letter of intent to form a partnership. Columbia St. Mary’s is co-sponsored by Columbia Health System and Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system. Froedtert & Community Health is a regional hospital system formed in 2001 by Froedtert Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital. Froedtert Hospital, together with its primary physician partner the Medical College of Wisconsin, is Eastern Wisconsin’s only academic medical center.
The proposed partnership would unite the region’s only academic medical center and five highly regarded community hospitals into one organization. Under this proposal, Froedtert & Community Health and Columbia St. Mary’s would become financially integrated, governed and managed as a single local entity.
“The proposed partnership would transform health care in this region by linking an outstanding academic medical center with the best community hospitals in the area,” said Leo P. Brideau, president and chief executive officer of Columbia St. Mary’s. “Combining the tremendous strengths of both organizations would strengthen our services, enhance quality and patient safety and improve our ability to provide accessible, cost-effective health care.”
“The proposed partnership would help us work together to strengthen clinical programs, expand geographic reach, and provide significant opportunities for operational efficiencies while enhancing the coordination and continuity of care for patients,” said William D. Petasnick, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert & Community Health. “We have partnered with Columbia St. Mary’s informally on many initiatives in the past, including the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The proposed partnership would allow us to work more closely and enhance our ability to fulfill our missions and serve our patients and communities.”
"The Board of Columbia St. Mary's is very enthusiastic about this partnership because we believe it is in the community's best interests to bring together these two superb health systems," said Linda T. Mellowes, chair of the Columbia St. Mary's board of directors. "Together we can strengthen the quality of our care while helping to control the cost of care."
“The proposed partnership would build on the organizations' shared commitment to their patients and communities,” said Richard Becker, chair of the board of directors for Froedtert & Community Health. "As Board members, we take our stewardship responsibility seriously and we believe that this partnership would positively impact the community through improved care coordination and enhanced use of resources."
Froedtert & Community Health and Columbia St. Mary’s began discussing a partnership in 2006 and anticipate finalizing an agreement in late 2007.
The proposed partnership between Columbia St. Mary’s and Froedtert & Community Health would:
- Enhance geographic access for existing and future patients of Froedtert & Community Health and Columbia St. Mary’s.
- Improve patient access to physician services within the system through the addition of clinic sites to the organization, closer alignments with independent community physicians, and continuation of Froedtert’s strong partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin Physicians Group.
- Enhance care coordination across the new organization, including electronic connections to ensure that patient health information is accessible to care teams at all sites.
- Maximize resources and strengthen already strong clinical programs in cancer, neurosciences, cardiovascular, orthopaedics and women’s services.
- Help control the growth of healthcare costs by eliminating unnecessary duplication of services and making the most efficient use of existing and new facilities, positioning the organization to achieve economies of scale while maintaining high-quality, accessible care.
- Foster collaboration around patient safety and quality. Columbia St. Mary’s and Froedtert & Community Health are leaders in quality and safety; the proposed partnership would enhance learning and speed improvements.
- Lead efforts to connect underserved populations to health care. The organizations share a commitment to increase access to primary healthcare for inner-city residents and a history of providing healthcare for the vulnerable.
- Expand physician training opportunities and clinical research in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin.
About Columbia St. Mary’sColumbia St. Mary's is composed of four hospitals: Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Columbia, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee, and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, as well as 28 primary care clinics, the Columbia College of Nursing, a partnership with the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, the new River Woods Outpatient Center in Glendale, and the new Urgent Care Center in downtown Milwaukee. The system serves individuals and families in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties, with more than 158 years of service. In 2006, Columbia St. Mary’s was named a Solucient Top 100 Hospital. Columbia St. Mary's and its sponsor organizations, Ascension Health and Columbia Health System, share a mission to make a positive difference in the health status and lives of individuals in the community with a special concern for those who are vulnerable. For more information, visit www.columbia-stmarys.org.
About Froedtert & Community HealthFroedtert & Community Health is a regional hospital system formed in 2001 by Froedtert Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls. Joining the capabilities of a 200-bed community hospital and a 450-bed academic medical center, Froedtert & Community Health delivers nationally recognized, cost-effective healthcare treatment and technologies from two hospitals and multiple clinic and program sites in Southeastern Wisconsin. In 2006, adult patient admissions for Froedtert & Community Health exceeded 34,000. Froedtert Hospital, together with the Medical College of Wisconsin, is the only academic medical center in Eastern Wisconsin and the area’s only adult Level One Trauma Center. Froedtert Hospital has been recognized for service excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Hospital Program and has earned American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) highest honor, "Magnet" status. Community Memorial Hospital specializes in cardiovascular services, women’s health, cancer care and advanced surgical procedures. Its heart surgery program is the third largest in southeastern Wisconsin. Community Memorial Hospital is a 2006 recipient of the Wisconsin Forward Award, recognizing organizational excellence as defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. For more information visit www.columbia-stmarys.org
Last Review Date: April 1, 2007