Summit Health and WellSpan Health sign affiliation agreement

Summit Health and WellSpan Health officials today announced the signing of an affiliation agreement that will enable Summit Health to join WellSpan Health’s regional nonprofit health system while enhancing community-based health care across Central Pennsylvania and within Franklin County and its surrounding communities.

In early April, leaders from both organizations announced they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, as they began the process to pursue an affiliation. Following a phase of due diligence, the respective volunteer boards of Summit Health and WellSpan Health each approved the definitive affiliation agreement today.

The agreement will be submitted to state and regulatory agencies for review – a process that is expected to take a few months to complete.

“This agreement supports our mission, our employees and our long-term goals to continue to improve the health of our community,” explained Summit Health President and CEO Pat O’Donnell. “The best position for Summit Health’s future is a strong partner, and that partner is WellSpan Health. After a thorough evaluation, it has become clear that WellSpan Health is the right partner to carry out our vision of local comprehensive care, inspiring hope for a healthier life.”

WellSpan Health President and CEO Kevin H. Mosser, M.D., noted that the two organizations share a vision of transforming health care by improving health outcomes and the patient experience, while managing costs.

“Summit and WellSpan have been working together toward that shared vision for years, collaborating on a number of clinical initiatives in Franklin County,” Mosser said. “This affiliation would bring together the talents of the leaders and clinicians of both organizations – all aimed at improving health across the region and enhancing the already-strong health care system locally in Franklin County and the surrounding area.”

Among the areas where the two organizations already collaborate are: a regional reference laboratory and a behavioral health managed care organization, as well as radiation oncology, neurology, tele-stroke and perinatology.

The affiliation agreement between Summit Health and WellSpan Health supports the following goals:

  • Strengthen 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.
  • Provide an opportunity to share best practices in quality improvement, care redesign, chronic disease management and patient experience.
  • Build upon Summit Health’s strong reputation as a provider of high-quality, local clinical care and a trusted nonprofit community partner.
  • Train and recruit 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.
  • Invest in new services, facilities and technology for the long-term health of residents in Franklin County and surrounding communities.
  • Support Summit Health’s passionate commitment to the physical and economic health of Franklin County and surrounding communities.
  • Provide enhanced opportunities for effective population health management and value-based contracting to meet the needs of patients and payors.

“We look forward to our future with WellSpan Health,” O’Donnell said. “I want to emphasize to our community members, to our patients, to our neighbors that when they walk through our doors, we promise hope. That will not change. We are here for our community. This decision allows us to continue that mission.”

For more information on the pending affiliation, visit www.SummitHealth.org/Affiliation and www.WellSpan.org/Affiliation.

SOURCE: Summit Health and WellSpan Health press release