Oconto Falls Hospital links with Green Bay partners

Posted on Oct 15, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
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Another New North community hospital is linking up with a larger healthcare system.

Today, Community Memorial Hospital-Oconto Falls announced an affiliation with St Vincent & St Mary’s Hospitals-Green Bay and Prevea Health. Earlier this week, Shawano Medical Center and Appleton’s ThedaCare announced they too would integrate.

For Community Memorial Hospital, the affiliation makes sense and will improve healthcare for Oconto County residents, says Howard Eslein, chair of the Community Memorial Board of Directors. The deal will expand the number of specialists available to local residents.

The strategic affiliation will provide seamless coordination of primary and specialty care, says Therese Pandl, president and CEO of St Vincent & St Mary’s Hospitals-Green Bay. Further, Pandl says it will expand health care services through information technology integration, increased management collaboration, and capital investment in projects. Community Memorial Hospital will remain an independent health care system throughout the process.

The groups will now begin to develop specific agreements which outline the parameters of the relationship. These agreements are expected to be complete by early 2011.

As providing healthcare becomes more expensive, I suspect more community hospitals may soon be looking to link up with a larger system to help provide them not only with the latest technology, but also increased access to specialists and a more stable financial base.

–By MaryBeth Matzek