Passavant, Memorial Health System announce affiliation agreement

By Benjamin Cox on January 3, 2014 at 7:08am

After years of working together, Passavant Area Hospital and Memorial Health System have formed an official affiliation.

The organizations signed an affiliation agreement that would make Passavant the Springfield-based health system’s fourth hospital, pending regulatory approvals.

Passavant’s board of directors unanimously voted in March 2013 to explore a possible affiliation with Memorial Health System. Jan Terry is chairman of the Passavant board.

“The board has always been concerned about making certain that we extend and preserve the quality of care that we provide for the residents that we serve,” says Terry. “With all of the changes in health care law and all of the needs to control cost we felt as though this was the best way to be able to preserve that care.”

Passavant president and CEO Chester Wynn says the affiliation will allow the hospital to expand its services.

“They offer things that we don’t offer that we can avail ourselves of,” says Wynn. “We already use some of their educational products and we can continue to build on that. We’re just not able to provide, as a smaller hospital, everything that they can provide as a larger health system that we can avail ourselves of.”

Terry says the affiliation provides a financial benefit.

“The financial benefit will come over time with the ability to do more group purchasing which means then the cost of goods and services with which we support the care would be lower,” says Terry. “Also, technology is very, very expensive. Especially medical technology. This would provide us the opportunity to partner on some of those pieces of equipment and some of the specialties that, right now, solely cost so much.”

Memorial Health System president and CEO Ed Curtis says national healthcare reform is requiring greater levels of partnership between communities.

“The board clearly is looking to do the right thing for the organization that’s been around for 130 years for the patients in the community,” says Curtis. “They can see working together we’ll be able to navigate through healthcare reform legislation much better than they can alone.”

Passavant and Memorial have been working together for years to serve the Jacksonville community. Last June, Memorial completed construction of a medical office building on Passavant’s campus, which houses the offices of Memorial Physician Services-Jacksonville. The health system also operates a medical equipment retail store in Jacksonville, which is a joint venture between Memorial Home Services and Passavant.

If the affiliation receives all regulatory approvals and clearances, Passavant would become a full affiliate of Memorial Health System, which also includes Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln and Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

“If you look at those facilities in Lincoln and Taylorville they have prospered greatly with their affiliation with Memorial Health System,” says Wynn. “While, I think we have done an excellent job in the past, going forward I think we’ll just continue to prosper under the Memorial Health System umbrella.”

Passavant has 900 full and part-time employees and is staffed for 93 inpatient beds. It’s fully accredited by The Joint Commission and earned status as a Magnet hospital – the highest honor a health-care organization can receive for professional nursing practice – from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2009.