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Suburban Hospital Healthcare System Joins Johns Hopkins Medicine - 07/02/2009

Suburban Hospital Healthcare System Joins Johns Hopkins Medicine

Celebratory Event To Be Held at Suburban July 1, at 3:00 P.M.
Release Date: July 2, 2009

July 2, 2009- Ahead of schedule, officials of Suburban Hospital Healthcare System (SHHS) and The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation completed and signed documents on June 30, 2009, officially integrating the Montgomery County-based SHHS into the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS). Under terms of the transaction, which does not involve any financial exchange, SHHS becomes a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of JHHS and a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), while retaining its commitment to the local community and community physicians. The SHHS name is not expected to change at this time, and both leadership and day-to-day operations at Suburban will remain the same.

The formal signing followed what officials at both institutions agreed was an unusually quick, efficient and smooth due diligence process, and one that is likely to speed development of integrated regional health care services for patients. 

Under terms of the integration, SHHS will retain its voluntary medical staff and will operate under the same JHHS governance structure as The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital.

“We are extremely eager to begin this next exciting phase of our long-standing relationship with Johns Hopkins,” said Brian A. Gragnolati, president and CEO of SHHS.   “As a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Suburban can foster the development of an integrated system of care for the national capital region, one focused on improving health by providing access to state-of-the-art medicine supported by a strong base of research and medical education.”

“We have united two strong health care systems with a shared vision,” 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 greater access to coordinated and efficient care.” Miller emphasized that JHM is “committed to preserving and strengthening Suburban’s mission and expanding opportunities for clinical research, teaching and services 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. “We are delighted to welcome a new member to Johns Hopkins Medicine. 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.   NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital

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 a way that promises to improve our ability to advance health care delivery throughout the region.”

“The new era in health care delivery today demands more rational and efficient models for delivering care,” said Steven J. Thompson, senior vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.  “But these new models must be grounded in sound and practical strategies that serve the best interests of our patients and the communities we serve.  This is exactly what we have done with the Suburban integration.”

REPORTER’S NOTE: The press is invited to attend a special event celebrating the Suburban-Johns Hopkins Medicine integration on Wednesday, July 1, at 3:00 P.M. in the Ratner Sculpture Garden on the grounds of Suburban Hospital.

A more than $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 four acute-care hospitals?The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, and the Suburban Hospital?and other provider and managed care organizations which together provide an integrated health care delivery system.  For more information about Johns Hopkins Medicine, please visit:  For more information about the Suburban Hospital Healthcare System, please visit:

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. 


Q.  How is the transaction structured?
A.  Under the transaction, SHHS  becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation.

Q.  Is money changing hands?
A.  No. No payment or obligation to make payment is part of the plan.

Q.  Who will manage SHHS?
A.   The team that currently manages SHHS will continue to manage its day-to-day operations. Governance will be similar to other components of JHHS, including The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital.

Q. Will Suburban doctors receive faculty appointments at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine? Will they have privileges at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Bayview and other Johns Hopkins entities?
A.  Not initially, but over time some may obtain part-time faculty status and become involved with supervising medical students and trainees.

Q. Will Suburban Hospital retain its name?
A. For the immediate future, yes.

Q.  Why did JHM agree to this transaction?
A.  Suburban enjoys an excellent reputation and is highly regarded in the Washington, D.C., region. It is financially strong and fits well with JHM’s interests in strengthening its regional integrated health care network. Johns Hopkins also has a history of successful and productive collaboration with SHHS going back more than a decade.

Q.  Which institution initiated the courtship?
A.  Suburban.

Q.   What’s in it for SHHS?
A.  Integrating with a strong organization that has an international reputation for excellence will strengthen and augment the clinical services of SHHS and bring more opportunities for innovation, research and education.   Working together, the two organizations will build an integrated, regional network of health care services and will expand access to these services to more people in the greater Washington, D.C., region.

Q. What’s in it for JHM?  Income?
A. SHHS and JHHS both are financially sound. JHM’s interest in Suburban is based on mutual interests that will keep both organizations strong, nimble and better able to care for communities as our region grapples with health care reform and constrained health care resources. The relationship will provide greater access and coordination for patients and open opportunities for efficiencies. It will add SHHS’s high-quality clinical components (hospital, ambulatory facilities, medical staff and employed physicians) to the JHM network. Ownership of SHHS also gives JHM a presence in the Washington, D.C., and I-270 corridors, offering potential for attracting new members for its Employer Health Programs (EHP), a program that provides health benefits administration to Johns Hopkins Medicine employees and a select number of strategic partners. SHHS’s proximity to, and affiliations with, the National Institutes of Health also offers improved opportunities for collaborations with that agency The relationship may also present JHM with expanded numbers of clinical trial participants and new research opportunities.

Q. Is JHM doing this to keep others from getting a foothold in Suburban’s catchment area?
A. No.

Q. Is JHM going to merge with or acquire other hospitals in the region or elsewhere?
A. There are no such plans currently under consideration.

Q. Is this part of a bigger effort to extend into other states, to franchise the JH name as Mayo did?
A. No. JHM does not intend to franchise its name and is not currently seeking to expand into other states.

Q. Will certain specialties be offered to Suburban patients only at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) or vice versa?
A. It is expected that patients seeking certain clinical services offered at JHH that are not available at SHHS may be referred to JHH. Conversely, patients who want advanced cardiovascular or stroke services may receive such services at Suburban. EHP enrollees may also obtain health care services more conveniently at SHHS.

Q. How will the transaction affect Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty, residents and administrators?
A. No impact is envisioned initially, but over time some members of the JHM faculty may become involved in clinical program development at Suburban as a result of the transaction. 

Q. How will the transaction affect programs and operations of other JHHS entities and affiliates (e.g., Bayview, HCGH, JHHC, EHP, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Johns Hopkins at Green Spring Station)?
A. The JHHS-SHHS transaction will not change JHM’s commitment, relationships or projects with JHHS entities or with other hospitals with which it has relationships, including Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Q. Will Johns Hopkins personnel and resources flow to SHHS temporarily or long-term?
A. Administrators from both institutions will collaborate to exchange information and ideas, but there are no plans to have JHHS administrators or others staff SHHS.

Q.  Will Johns Hopkins support SHHS’s planned campus redevelopment?
A.  Yes. JHM fully supports Suburban Hospital’s campus enhancement project, which we believe is very important for the hospital and for the patients it serves.

Q. Why is Johns Hopkins doing this now, during difficult economic times for the health care industry in Maryland?
A. There is no better time. Current health care needs are growing, and there is intense interest nationally and regionally to deliver care more efficiently to our state’s populations and communities. Proposed reform measures argue strongly for regional, integrated health care systems that unite community hospitals and the most advanced quaternary medical centers into systems that ensure both high quality and continuity of care for patients. An expanded JHM health care delivery system increases the ability of JHM and Johns Hopkins HealthCare (JHHC) to assume an important role in the management of health for populations and subpopulations in the coming era of health care reform.

Q. What will JHM be able to bring to the table at SHHS in terms of quality assurance and quality improvement teaching and research?
A. It is expected that over time, quality and other protocols developed by JHM and SHHS will be shared and implemented. It is further anticipated that there will be educational and clinical research opportunities.

For the Media

Media Contacts:

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Gary Stephenson; 410-955-5384; [email protected]

Suburban Hospital Healthcare System
Ronna Borenstein-Levy
301-896-2598; [email protected]