Ashland Community Hospital in Negotiations with Dignity Health

Its board of directors agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations to form a partnership

April 25, 2012 -- On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, the Ashland Community Hospital (ACH) Board of Directors agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dignity Health with the goal of forming a partnership that will strengthen both organizations and enable ACH to continue to provide high quality healthcare services to Ashland, Talent and the surrounding area for generations to come.

According to Mark Marchetti, CEO, “We were fortunate to have had four strong potential partners interested in affiliation with our hospital. Each of these organizations would have brought positive qualities to an alliance. After a thorough review and careful consideration, the Board felt that Dignity Health offered the best cultural and business fit for both our hospital and our community. Like ACH, Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, affordable health services and partnering with others in the community to improve the quality of life for everyone it serves. We also share the belief that hospitals need to plan strategically now to succeed in the healthcare environment of the future. Dignity Health can provide the needed support of a large healthcare system while maintaining Ashland Community Hospital’s identity and maximizing local control. This partnership will also maintain and enhance our ability to continue to work collaboratively with both local healthcare systems in the Rogue Valley.”

“We have met with Ashland City Council and they have reviewed our plan to move forward with affiliation discussions,” Marchetti continued. Over the next 90 days, representatives from ACH, Dignity Health and Huron Healthcare consulting group will negotiate the details of an affiliation agreement.

“Both ACH and Dignity Health are committed to forming a partnership that meets the healthcare needs of our community and we anticipate a mutually agreeable and beneficial outcome. We hope to make a formal announcement and provide more information on our alliance in early July,” Marchetti added.

Dignity Health is a network of 40 acute care hospitals and more than 150 ancillary care sites in both large and small communities in California, Arizona and Nevada. It is the fifth largest health system in the nation with more than 10,000 physicians and 55,000 employees. Founded in 1986 as Catholic Healthcare West and headquartered in San Francisco, the organization recently changed its name to Dignity Health to reflect a change in governance structure and to position itself for growth in a changing hospital environment. Dignity Health is a secular organization and welcomes both secular and faith-based hospitals as partners. About forty percent of their current members are not associated with a religious group.

Ashland Community Hospital and Dignity Health are both non-profit organizations. Dignity Health supports strong local hospital foundations and all fundraising is done at the local level for their affiliated hospitals. ACH would become the first hospital in Oregon to join the Dignity Health system, which has a strategic plan for growth in the state. The closest Dignity Health member institutions or ancillary care facilities are located in Redding, Red Bluff and Mt. Shasta, California.

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