Lincoln County Health System, St. Thomas Health Announce Alliance

NASHVILLE, FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. – (January 29, 2015) – Leaders of Lincoln County Health System (LCHS) and Saint Thomas Health have announced an expanded alliance, effective March 1, that makes the Fayetteville-based facility a part of Saint Thomas Health’s “regional integrated system of care.” The relationship will allow LCHS to continue delivering local, high-quality healthcare as an independent entity while participating fully with Saint Thomas in initiatives to improve the health of Lincoln County, as well as improve quality and lower cost of healthcare across the region. LCHS employees became members of Saint Thomas’ MissionPoint Health Partners on January 1, 2015.

“At Lincoln County Health System, we’re committed to providing the latest advances in medicine in an environment of care and compassion,” said Anthony Taylor, LCHS Board Chair. “In looking for a partner to expand our mission, we found that Saint Thomas Health shared our passion for both innovation and service. They understood and respected our need to remain an independent system while realizing the benefits of a partnership with a regional system.”

“While we are a financially stable organization,” he continued, “the enhanced affiliation will allow LCHS to continue fulfilling its uncompromising commitment of providing local, high-quality health care, while benefiting from Saint Thomas Health’s strong network and resources in a cost effective manner.”

The relationship between the two systems is not new. Cardiac specialists with Saint Thomas Heart have been traveling to Fayetteville for more than twenty years to work with local physicians in expanding access to advanced cardiac treatment. LCHS is already part of the Saint Thomas Health Chest Pain, Stroke and Telehealth Networks. The physicians and associates of LMC are part of MissionPoint Health Partners, the accountable care organization begun by Saint Thomas Health in 2013 that is now part of Ascension Care Management, a subsidiary of Ascension.

“The relationship between our two systems will deliver the greatest benefit to the citizens of Fayetteville and Lincoln County,” said Dr. Mike Schatzlein, President and CEO of Saint Thomas Health. “And it’s a natural fit. We’ve had a formal relationship with Lincoln County Health System for nearly five years. This alliance will further the goal of Saint Thomas Health to create and participate in regionally integrated systems of care, with greater collaboration and engagement to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare services.”

The current alliance between the two systems has resulted in the expansion of specialty services. The expanded relationship will allow for LCHS to access the group purchasing organization provided by Ascension, the national health system of which Saint Thomas Health is a part. In addition, Saint Thomas Health will provide consultative and support services and will be placing interim executive leadership while the LCHS Board of Directors searches for a permanent CEO.

“We are strong proponents of keeping healthcare local,” continued Schatzlein. “We have a history of being supportive of hospitals and providers who offer much-needed access to communities throughout Middle Tennessee. We look forward to a long relationship with Lincoln County Health System.”

ABOUT LINCOLN MEDICAL CENTER

The Lincoln County Health System is a full-service, health care system, which serves Lincoln County. The Lincoln County Health System is a multi-faceted health care system whose mission is to provide life-long health care for the people it serves. In addition to a 59-bed acute care hospital, the system consists of a freestanding rehabilitation and wellness center, a 240 bed licensed nursing home, a home health and hospice agency, and an ambulance/EMS service. The facilities are county-owned and are governed by the Lincoln County Health System Board of Trustees. For more information, visit www.lchealthsystem.com.

ABOUT SAINT THOMAS HEALTH

Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united as one healing community. With more than 6,500 associates, Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes – Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro and Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville – as well as four hospitals in the Capella-Saint Thomas Health network. A comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities complement the hospital services and cover a 68-county area. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.STHealth.com.

ABOUT ASCENSION

Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering person-centered care to all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. In FY2014, Ascension provided $1.8 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. More than 150,000 associates and 35,000 affiliated providers serve in 1,900 sites of care – including 131 hospitals and more than 30 senior care facilities – in 23 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, treasury management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

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