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In a move to build on longstanding ties and to address growing regional interest in more efficient, integrated regional health care services for patients, officials of Suburban Hospital Healthcare System (SHHS) and The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation have formally agreed to integrate SHHS into the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS).
Both systems say it is anticipated that SHHS will join JHHS in early fall2009 after appropriate due diligence is completed. The proposed transaction will not involve financial exchanges.
If the transaction is completed and implemented as planned, the Montgomery County-based SHHS will become a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of JHHS and a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), but will retain both its name and commitment to its community. Leadership and day-to-day operations at Suburban are not expected to change as a result of the integration.
JHHS and its affiliates, including The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Inc., and Howard County General Hospital Inc., along with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, make up Johns Hopkins Medicine.
On April 24, Suburban Hospital’s board of trustees expressed its intent for Suburban to join JHM, as did the JHHS board earlier on April 13.
“It is the role of Suburban Hospital’s voluntary board of trustees ensure the community we represent will benefit from the best health care possible,” said Barry K. Rogstad, Ph.D., chairman of the SHHS board. “We believe this alliance between Suburban Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medicine will be recognized by future generations as a turning point for transforming the health care delivery process for our local community and, more broadly, for the greater Washington, D.C., region.”
While details of the proposed transaction are still to be finalized, the basic outlines of the plan call for SHHS to retain its voluntary medical staff and physician organization, Premier Physician Group. In addition, the plan calls for SHHS to operate under the direction of the JHHS governance structure in the same manner as The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with a partner that brings significant breadth and depth and shares our values and vision,” said Brian A. Gragnolati, president and CEO of SHHS. “As a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Suburban will foster the development of an integrated system of care for the national capital region focused on improving health by providing access to state-of-the-art medicine supported by a strong base of research and medical education.”
“With this plan, the goal is to unite two strong health care systems with a shared vision of providing both the highest quality care and greatest access for our patients,” said Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “The proposal strengthens each institution’s ability to serve patients along the continuum of care, providing new opportunities for coordinated and efficient care. We are committed to preserving the best of this outstanding community and regional asset while helping Suburban expand its mission to include research and teaching and its service to its community and community physicians.”
According to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System President Ronald R. Peterson, partnering with Suburban was a strategically driven decision. “Suburban is strong financially, very highly regarded in its community and located virtually on the doorstep of the nation’s capital,” he said. “Having it as part of the Hopkins family provides us the critical mass to better position ourselves to provide an integrated, regional approach to care that we anticipate the future will demand.”
Suburban Hospital and JHM have enjoyed an alliance dating back to 1996. Suburban Hospital Cardiac Care Program
In 2006, the two institutions and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) collaborated to develop the NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital, offering advanced cardiovascular specialty care, including cardiac surgery.
“For Suburban Hospital’s community-based and affiliated physicians, providing quality health care to patients is the driving force in everything we do,” said Ernest Hanowell, M.D., chairman of the Suburban Hospital Medical Staff. “We are pleased that this opportunity brings together two highly respected health care organizations in an integration that promises to improve our ability to advance health care delivery throughout the region."
“We face a new era in health care delivery that will bring major reforms and demands for more rational and efficient ways of delivering care,” said Steven J. Thompson, senior vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Increasingly, our decisions on how best to accommodate these changes must be based on sound and practical strategies. What we must never lose sight of during these turbulent times is that every decision we make has to be in the best interests of our patients and the communities we serve. This is exactly what we have done with the Suburban integration.”
Roger Berliner (D), District 1 Representative to the Montgomery County Council, believes residents of Montgomery County will especially benefit from the new arrangement. “I am confident that combining Johns Hopkins’ national reputation for excellence with Suburban’s historic commitment to high-quality patient care and community involvement will accrue to the benefit of our county,” he said.
Suburban Hospital has been serving Montgomery County and the surrounding region since 1943. With 238 licensed beds and annual admissions of nearly 15,000, the hospital is the cornerstone of the Suburban Hospital Healthcare System (SHHS), an independent, not-for-profit, community-based organization. Total revenue of SHHS and its joint ventures is approximately $400M.
Over the past 65 years, the hospital and system have grown into one of the area’s most respected health care providers. As an acute-care hospital, Suburban Hospital offers inpatient and outpatient care, providing most major services except obstetrics. The hospital has developed five core centers of specialized care—cardiac, neuroscience/stroke, oncology, orthopedics, and emergency/trauma, serving as Montgomery County’s designated regional trauma center. Many of the hospital’s services are complemented by clinical partnerships with other regional health care leaders, including the National Institutes of Health. In addition to the cardiac care collaboration with NIH and JHM that resulted in the NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital, the NIH Stroke Center at Suburban Hospital is a unique partnership with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. This program places physician-scientists from NIH side by side with Suburban Hospital clinicians to contribute to major advances in stroke diagnosis and treatment.
SHHS has a long history of working collaboratively with physicians to improve access and quality of care. The recently established Premier Physician Group continues to develop as part of the system’s organized strategy to assure a coordinated and integrated network of primary and specialty-care physicians.
Beyond the services provided on the main Suburban Hospital campus, SHHS offers a broad array of patient services in nonacute-care settings. This includes an outpatient surgery center, an ambulatory cancer and radiation oncology center, and an imaging facility in the Suburban Outpatient Medical Center on Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, as well as imaging centers in Rockville and Chevy Chase, and a wellness center in Germantown. Numerous locations throughout the county provide rehabilitation services and community health and wellness programs.
A more than $4.5 billion enterprise, Johns Hopkins Medicine unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of JHHS.
The mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, Johns Hopkins Medicine educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has provided international leadership in the education of physicians and medical scientists in biomedical research and in the application of medical knowledge to sustain health since The Johns Hopkins Hospital opened in 1889. The Johns Hopkins Health System includes three acute-care hospitals?The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital?and other provider and managed care organizations which together provide an integrated health care delivery system.
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