Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) and Fletcher Allen Health Care announced today at a press conference that their Boards have each given final approval to a corporate affiliation between the two organizations that took effect October 1. The affiliation was first approved by both Boards in December 2010 when an affiliation agreement was signed, and is being implemented through a new organization ‘Fletcher Allen Partners ‘ the new parent corporation of both CVMC and Fletcher Allen. ‘This is a significant step in developing a coordinated health care system in Vermont that will deliver higher quality care for Vermonters and do it more efficiently,’ said Judy Tarr Tartaglia, president and chief executive officer of CVMC. ‘This affiliation builds on existing clinical partnerships and also closely aligns with the state and federal health care reform agendas that promote enhanced integration.’ ‘Like Judy, I believe that increased collaboration among hospitals and other providers in our state will benefit our patients,’ said John Brumsted, M.D., interim president and chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen. ‘The affiliation also will foster the academic mission. With an integrated health care system, we have an opportunity to train the next generation of physicians, nurses and other providers in a clinical environment of the future ‘ one that emphasizes coordination and integration ‘ and to provide expanded opportunities for clinical research.’ “This is an example of the kind of collaboration that we want to encourage in Vermont,’ said Governor Peter Shumlin. ‘We need health care providers to break down some of the walls between individual institutions and start working as a system. It is only by increasing coordination that we will achieve the highest quality, most efficient health care delivery for all Vermonters.”The affiliation was finalized following a nine-month period of due diligence that began last December after both organizations gave their initial approvals. The due diligence process included state and federal regulatory reviews.Common Parent OrganizationFletcher Allen Partners has governing powers over both Fletcher Allen and CVMC. Fletcher Allen Partners has a board of trustees drawn from the membership of both organizations’ current boards and medical staffs. Interim Fletcher Allen President and CEO Dr. Brumsted will serve as CEO of the system parent; CVMC President and CEO Judy Tarr Tartaglia will serve as senior vice president. There are 17 board members, 11 from Fletcher Allen and 6 from CVMC. They include from CVMC: Robin Nicholson, Board Chair; Tom Robbins, Vice Chair; Marta Marble, Trustee; Tom Curchin, M.D., Chair of CVMC Medical Group; Andy Minkin, M.D., Gastroenterologist; Brad Watson, M.D. CVMC Medical Staff President (Ex Officio). Note: Dr. Watson’s term expires in November, when he will be succeeded by Joe Pekala M.D., who becomes the medical staff president. Partners board members from Fletcher Allen include: Roger Stone, Chair, Fletcher Allen Board of Trustees; John Brumsted, M.D., Interim President and CEO, Fletcher Allen; Steve Marsh, Chair, Board Audit Committee; John Powell, Chair, Board Finance Committee; Jan Carney, M.D, Chair, Board Planning Committee; Sarah Carpenter, Chair, Board Ethics & Quality Committee; Donald Gilbert, Chair, Board Compensation Committee; Richard Morin, M.D., Dean, UVM College of Medicine and member of the Board of Trustees; Trustees Betsy Davis, and Gretchen Morse; and Stephen Leffler, M.D. Fletcher Allen Medical Staff President (Ex officio), who is also a Board member. Existing Hospitals to Retain Identities, Separate Medical StaffsUnder the affiliation, Fletcher Allen and CVMC will retain their current identities. Each party remains a separate free-standing hospital with its own board, management, workforce, licensure, medical staff (including credentialing and governance), and endowment. The medical staffs of each hospital will remain separate with separate credentialing and governance. System Activities This affiliation builds on existing clinical partnerships between CVMC and Fletcher Allen. For example, Fletcher Allen already provides specialized physician services for the Central Vermont community on the CVMC campus including general surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, gynecologic oncology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and family medicine services at Berlin Family Health. The parent organization, over time, will carry out centralized activities for the benefit of patients of both CVMC and Fletcher Allen, such as:Regional strategic planningJoint quality and clinical initiativesJoint purchasing and supply chain managementTax-exempt bond borrowingDevelopment of a common electronic health record platform The parent organization also has approval rights over significant matters of each organization such as budgets, strategic plans, and major financial decisions. The system will carry out centralized activities for the benefit of patients of both CVMC and Fletcher Allen. Joint work councils will be established in the following areas: clinical care & quality, supply chain & facilities planning, information technology, finances, and human resources. Judy Tarr Tartaglia will oversee the work of these councils. Here are some examples of collaborative work that has already begun: · Physician leaders at Fletcher Allen and CVMC are collaborating to determine how both intensive care units can best work together to ensure that patients are treated locally whenever possible, or transferred to Fletcher Allen for more specialized care, when appropriate. · In coordination with the Blueprint for Health, Fletcher Allen and CVMC are collaborating to reduce hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations of patients with congestive heart failure. Plans include the development of a standardized approach to ensure consistent care and regular communication with health care providers. A variety of support systems are being implemented to ensure that patients understand their treatment and participate in monitoring their health status at home. · Fletcher Allen and CVMC have jointly identified opportunities to align and combine service and supply contracts for the two organizations with the goal of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coming year. · Leaders at Fletcher Allen and CVMC are working on a plan to bring CVMC onto the Fletcher Allen information systems platform so that CVMC physicians and employees will have access to the same electronic health record software that Fletcher Allen implemented across its inpatient and outpatient areas in 2009-2010. About CVMCCentral Vermont Medical Center consists of a not-for-profit acute care hospital offering a full spectrum of in-patient and out-patient services and 24-hour emergency care, National Life Cancer Treatment Center, Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing, and 17 medical group practices. Our mission is to work collaboratively to meet the needs and improve the health of the residents of central Vermont. Visit www.cvmc.org(link is external) for additional information. About Fletcher AllenFletcher Allen Health Care, together with our partners at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is Vermont’sacademic medical center. Our mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve by integrating patient care, education and research in a caring environment. Fletcher Allen serves as a regional referral center — providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York — and as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. For more information about Fletcher Allen, find us online at http://www.fletcherallen.org(link is external) or on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at www.fletcherallen.org/socialmedia(link is external).