In May, Susquehanna Health said it would be joining with UPMC via a letter of intent. The affiliation comes after Susquehanna Health did a two-year study in search of an organization that supports a community-minded approach. UPMC will help Susquehanna Health with the following goals: information technology investments; healthcare services expansion; more health insurance choices in the region; and keeping a patient-focused mission.
UPMC President Steven P. Johnson issued the following statement when Susquehanna Health announced the affiliation, “Today marks a new era of healthcare for our region. Building on our strong clinical quality and patient safety track record, emphasis on caring for patients and expertise in delivering care to all of the communities we serve, including rural communities, Susquehanna Health is even stronger with UPMC… As a pre-eminent academic medical center and insurer, UPMC brings great resources to our community. UPMC’s academic partner, the University of Pittsburgh, has a medical school ranked fifth in NIH research funding and UPMC has the third-largest residency and fellowship program in the country. UPMC is the largest medical and behavioral health services insurer in western Pennsylvania and the number one insurance plan in the state for quality and consumer satisfaction. Through this affiliation, we are able to bring a new level of innovation and advanced care to our region.”
UPMC will invest $500 million to UPMC Susquehanna to show how it is dedicated to extending services in the region. UPMC Susquehanna will focus on expanding the following services first: cancer, heart and vascular, and emergency. In addition, UPMC Susquehanna plans to concentrate on the following health care items: enhance care access via an urgent care network; establish a neurosciences center of excellence; and replace an inpatient rehabilitation facility that was built in the 1960s. UPMC expects jobs to be created with the expansion of services.
Foundations in Tioga and Lycoming Counties, which have more than $40 million in assets, will remain unchanged. Donor gifts and fundraising money, which will stay in the region, will go toward healthcare services in the northcentral Pennsylvania region.
The local governance of UPMC will remain under the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is composed of 16 community and business members who volunteered for their positions. In addition, there will be eight new members from UPMC. The obligations of the UPMC Susquehanna Board include growth initiatives, medical staff, and care quality.
Steven Shapiro, M.D., who is the president, executive vice president, and chief medical officer – Health Services Division of UPMC, issued the following statement, “We couldn’t be more pleased to share and execute our vision for the future of health care with an organization as strong and successful as Susquehanna Health. We look forward to extending UPMC’s expertise and innovative resources to this region… With UPMC’s leading integrated health care delivery and insurance model, we also share with Susquehanna the same firm commitment UPMC has proven in other communities, and that is to keep high-quality affordable care locally accessible and close to home for our patients.”
Ann Pepperman, who is the Chairwoman of the UPMC Board of Directors, also issued a statement. She said, “A shared mission for patient-centered care and innovative work models brought us together and empower us to move forward and grow services for this community… UPMC has a history of investing in the communities it touches. Affiliating with UPMC ensures we have access to the resources to keep and add important services here in our local communities.”