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August 22, 2012

Medical Center expands affiliation efforts

In efforts to better meet the health care needs of the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions, leaders from the Medical Center and from other regional providers have taken steps toward working more closely together to provide a more streamlined network of services and care.

In June, Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk and Linda Farchione, president and CEO of Thompson Health in Canandaigua, announced an agreement making Thompson Health a URMC affiliate.

And in July, Berk and Kelly McCormick-Sullivan, the president of Pluta Cancer Center in Buffalo, announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding as a first step in a process that could lead to a merger, which each said would benefit cancer patients in the greater Monroe County area.

The affiliation with Thompson comes after several months of discussions, due diligence, and board approvals involving administrative leaders, physicians, and board members among the two health systems.

“This affiliation between Thompson Health and the Medical Center offers a great opportunity to bring a truly integrated delivery system to the Finger Lakes Region,” Farchione says.

“It will allow for coordinated service delivery of all levels of health care close to home.”

“Thompson Health is unquestionably one of the most progressive, well-run, and medically robust health systems in our region, so it is a natural fit with the URMC’s family of providers,” says Berk. “Working together, we have enormous potential to improve the health of our region.”

Berk and Farchione agree that the affiliation enables the two health systems to use and share their collective resources to best meet the health care needs of both the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions.

Berk notes that by partnering, a seamless network of health care delivery will be created allowing patients to access many different levels of care at a variety of locations.

Both view the affiliation as an extension of successful partnerships that already exist between the two health systems within many medical and surgical specialties, including cardiology, neurosurgery, oncology, imaging, and more.

“Health care is evolving rapidly and that has enormous implications for the way in which we deliver care, train new teams of professionals, and search for cures,” says President Joel Seligman. “Together, URMC and Thompson Health bring the critical mass and collective talent to re-imagine a more robust, affordable, and higher quality health care system.”
Pluta’s McCormick-Sullivan echoed that sentiment.

“If our joint expectations come to fruition, it will be a positive relationship for all, most especially our patients.

“They would continue to be treated by the same clinical staff, including physicians, nurses, and radiation therapists at our center’s current location while gaining easier access to the University’s state-of-the-art research, new technology, and clinical trials.”

Estimating that a formal agreement could take a number of months to finalize, leaders from both the Medical Center and Pluta have begun a process of due diligence.

Any proposed merger would be subject to regulatory approval.

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