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WellSpan to expand footprint into Franklin County

YORK COUNTY — WellSpan Health looks to be expanding into Franklin County.

WellSpan and Summit Health announced Tuesday that they’re pursuing an affiliation which, if approved, would lead to a merger between the two. Summit has been serving the Franklin County community for more than 125 years, according to Patrick O’Donnell, the health care system’s president and CEO.

“We are excited to announce today that we have found a partner that believes in our vision of ‘Local, Comprehensive Care; Inspiring Hope for a Healthier Life,’ as much as we do, and a partner who will help to take us to the next level,” O’Donnell said.

Kevin Mosser, president and CEO of WellSpan, and O’Donnell both noted that WellSpan and Summit share a vision of transforming health care by improving health outcomes and the patient experience while managing costs.

“Health care across our nation – including here in Central Pennsylvania – continues to evolve into a system that not only treats people when they’re sick or injured but also partners with individuals and families to keep them healthy and to improve the overall health of communities,” Mosser said. “In response to this transformation, affiliations and partnerships have increasingly become an effective approach for health care organizations to share best practices, achieve economies of scale and – ultimately -enhance quality and affordability.”

The affiliation between the two health care systems will support the following goals:

  • Strengthens a model of care that is based on an individual’s relationship with a primary care physician and coordinates all the care an individual requires across the lifespan.
  • Provides an opportunity to share best practices in quality improvement, care redesign, chronic disease management and patient experience.
  • Builds upon Summit Health’s strong reputation as a provider of high-quality, local clinical care and a trusted nonprofit community partner.
  • Trains and recruits more physicians, advanced practice clinicians, nurses and other essential care providers to Franklin County and surrounding communities in order to address a projected shortage of physicians and health care professionals.
  • Invests in new services, facilities and technology for the long-term health of residents in Franklin County and surrounding communities.
  • Supports Summit Health’s passionate commitment to the physical and economic health of Franklin County and surrounding communities.
  • Provides enhanced opportunities for effective population health management and value-based contracting to meet the needs of patients and payors.

Over the years, WellSpan and Summit have have worked together to provide residents in Franklin County and surrounding communities with local access to various specialty care services, including radiation oncology, neurology, tele-stroke and perinatology, the news release announcing the affiliation stated.

“We share similar community-based missions and values, and an abiding commitment to partnering with other health care providers and organizations to improve the health of the communities we serve,” O’Donnell added.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Summit Health,” Mosser continued. “Through its dedicated network of physicians and caregivers – and its unwavering commitment to delivering compassionate, patient-centered and community-based care – Summit Health continues to be a valuable resource in Franklin County. We are excited about the new opportunities this affiliation could bring to further enhance care for the patients and communities we serve throughout Central Pennsylvania.”