August 29, 2013

For Immediate Release
 
Contact: Gregg Davidson, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Skagit Regional Health, 360-814-2130
      Clark Todd, President, Public Hospital District No. 1 Board of Commissioners, 562-743-2806
 

Skagit Valley Hospital board votes to begin
strategic alliance negotiations with PeaceHealth

 
MOUNT VERNON – The Skagit Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners voted on Thursday, August 29, to enter into strategic alliance negotiations with PeaceHealth, which includes its proposed strategic collaboration with UW Medicine, in a move to benefit patients by enhancing clinical services, promoting health care stability and preparing for health care reform.
 
Read the board resolution authorizing negotiations to pursue a strategic alliance with PeaceHealth.
 
For more than two years, Skagit Valley Hospital has worked with Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington and Island Hospital in Anacortes to seek a larger healthcare partner. In a joint board meeting in Mount Vernon on Thursday, Cascade Valley Hospital’s Board of Commissioners also voted to move forward with a letter of intent to negotiate with PeaceHealth, which includes its proposed strategic collaboration with UW Medicine, while Island Hospital’s Board voted not to affiliate with a larger health system at this time.
 
“As a board, we worked very hard to make the best decision for this community to retain and grow quality health care services for our patients. We believe the best decision is a strategic alliance with PeaceHealth, which includes its proposed strategic collaboration with UW Medicine,” said Skagit Valley Hospital Board President Clark Todd. “We have appreciated and listened intently to the comments and concerns raised during this public process. We recognize and understand the issues raised and will work to negotiate an agreement that not only retains, but enhances services for the people we are honored to serve.”
 
PeaceHealth is the parent system of St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham and recently announced a strategic collaboration with UW Medicine.
 
Specific to Skagit Regional Health, elements of importance in the proposed alliance with PeaceHealth, which includes its proposed strategic collaboration with UW Medicine, include enhancements to patient services; installation of the best-in-class Epic electronic health record system; formation of joint ventures in specific service lines, a structure that would retain the district Board’s control of operations outside of the joint ventures and would reduce issues surrounding concerns regarding partnering with a faith-based organization; and preparation for health care reform, including alignment with the University of Washington’s Accountable Care Organization.
 
Details will be negotiated between Skagit Regional Health and PeaceHealth, which includes its proposed strategic collaboration with UW Medicine, over the next six months.
 
“We were honored to start this process with four high-quality organizations to choose from as a partner,” Todd said. “Any one of them would have been a positive benefit to our community. Our focus remains on providing, improving and expanding healthcare and services for patients in our region now and in the future.”