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Catholic Health and Mount St. Mary's Hospital formalize collaborative services agreement

by jmaloni
Wed, Apr 18th 2012 01:45 pm

Affiliation to strengthen health care for the Greater Niagara Region

Press release

Catholic Health and Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center in Lewiston have signed a collaborative services agreement that will create a stronger working relationship between the two organizations and enhance health care services for residents throughout Niagara County. Under the agreement, Mount St. Mary's will gain operational efficiencies through the utilization of shared resources, while patients will have expanded access to a wider range of health care services.  

"As two Catholic-sponsored health providers, this collaboration is a perfect fit for our hospital and our point of view on the health care environment," said Judy Maness, president and CEO of Mount St. Mary's Hospital. "We believe delivering an exceptional patient experience that is safe, high quality, and low cost, will require a strong regional presence. Through this collaboration we not only reap the operational benefits of working with an organization the size and scope of Catholic Health, but we strengthen our ministry of healing by collaborating with a partner that truly understands our mission and core values."

The agreement will help Catholic Health grow its specialty services outside Erie County while supporting Mount St. Mary's efforts to enhance its primary care, outpatient and acute care services along a continuum of care in Niagara County.

"By creating partnerships that help patients access specialty services that didn't exist or were geographically out of reach, we are improving the health of our community while controlling the cost of care," said Joe McDonald president and CEO of Catholic Health. "Our goal is to work with community hospitals, like Mount St. Mary's, to help strengthen their ability to care for patients locally, rather than simply transfer patients out of the community unnecessarily."

Additional benefits for Mount St. Mary's Hospital include strengthening relationships with area physicians and accessing funding to recruit primary care and specialty providers to Niagara County. Many of the hospital's physicians are also part of Catholic Medical Partners, a network of more than 900 local independent practicing physicians, along with Catholic Health and Mount St. Mary's.

Catholic Health has similar agreements with Bertrand Chafee Hospital in Springville and Cuba Memorial Hospital in Cuba.

"As we continue to grow our high performing health system to better serve area patients, one of the keys to our success is creating partnerships with other providers who share our vision for transforming health care throughout the region," McDonald said. "Like our work in the southern tier, we will work with the team at Mount St. Mary's to bolster services in their community and position the hospital to meet the challenges that come with health reform."

Mount St. Mary's and Catholic Health have already collaborated on several projects to expand access to cardiac and stroke specialists and develop community health education and screening events. These efforts help Niagara County residents get the health and wellness services they need to maintain their health or manage more serious medical conditions. They have also filed a joint certificate of need application with the state Health Department to build a $7.9 million cardiac catheterization lab for coronary angioplasty at Mount St. Mary's. Currently, there is no such facility in Niagara County for residents to receive this specialized care. The certificate of need is currently on hold with the state.

In February, Catholic Health was unanimously selected from a number of providers to take over operations of Niagara County's Home Health Care Programs. Catholic Health will begin providing certified and long-term home health care services to Niagara County residents through its McAuley Seton Home Care division. Mount St. Mary's was a strong supporter of this initiative.

Formed in 1998 under four religious sponsors, Catholic Health in Buffalo is a non-profit health care system that provides care to Western New Yorkers across a network of hospitals, primary care centers, home care, imaging centers, and several other community ministries.

For more information, go to www.chsbuffalo.org.

To learn more about Mount St. Mary's, visit www.msmh.org.

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