The Macon-based Navicent Health system Thursday announced they're partnering with a Carolina company.
Navicent Health CEO Dr. Ninfa Saunders said they've signed a letter of intent to form a partnership with Atrium Health, which changed its name Wednesday from Carolinas HealthCare Systems.
“We will have local governance,” Saunders said. “We will have the ability to buy the things that we need to for the community. We will have the ability to make decisions that are best for the people we serve. On top of that we have a partnership that begins to look at strategy in a huge way.”
Navicent will act as Atrium's "regional hub" to provide health care throughout Central and south Georgia. The collaboration will allow them to reduce costs, and increase access especially in rural areas.
“Atrium Health has an incredible technological platform and is one of the top organizations in the country that has taken advantage of telehealth and virtual health to reach their patients,” Saunders said.
She says Atrium’s research and expertise will allow them to expand the care they provide. They hope that they can treat a wider variety of patients with the new collaboration.
“When we talk about local health care what we have to do is expand the services that we have, so that patients here will never have to go anywhere,” Saunders said.
The same doctors and nurses will still be treating patients here in central Georgia, but Saunders expects the need to hire even more.
“There will be no change in terms of the structure that they're used to,” Saunders said. “The only difference is they’re going to have to get used to the fact that were probably going to grow a little bit faster than we had anticipated in the past.”
Navicent's properties in Central Georgia include the Medical Centers in Macon, Peach County, and Baldwin County, and the Children's Hospital in Macon.
They employ an estimated 5,000 people in Bibb County alone. The Charlotte Observer reported that Atrium has 40 hospitals and about 65,000 employees.
Atrium is also currently negotiating a merger with the Chapel Hill-based UNC Health Care, which would make Atrium one of the nation;s largest health-care chains, the Observer reported,
Navicent Health and Atrium Health released this joint statement Thursday:
Atrium Health and Navicent Health Announce Plans to Form Strategic Combination to Serve Communities in Central and South Georgia
CHARLOTTE, N.C., and MACON, G.A., Feb. 8, 2018 – Atrium Health, previously Carolinas HealthCare System, and Navicent Health today jointly announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into a strategic combination to enhance access, affordability and equity of care for individuals and families in central and south Georgia.
By bringing together Atrium Health, with its proven track record for devoting resources and expertise necessary to deliver unparalleled value to patients and affiliates alike, and Navicent Health, a leading Georgia healthcare system that is committed to elevating health and well-being for its patients and communities, they will address access and affordability while co-creating the future of health for central and south Georgia.
Navicent Health will become a part of Atrium Health, benefitting the central and south Georgia area. This strategic combination will allow Navicent Health to become the leader of a regional hub for Atrium Health outside the Carolinas and will enhance Macon-Bibb County’s position as one of Georgia’s leading centers for healthcare, keeping the physician community strong, and enabling patients to access complex medical services locally.
“We’re focused on creating a personalized care experience for each and every patient and community we serve,” said Gene Woods, president and CEO of newly named Atrium Health. “Whether it’s improving health for those living in urban and rural areas through access to the newest virtual care technology, elevating hope for the parent of a sick child through an innovative cancer treatment, or advancing healing for a patient in our emergency department through integrated behavioral health services – the privilege to care for existing and new communities throughout central and south Georgia is another way to breathe life into our mission to care for all.”
Atrium Health and Navicent Health have each separately made clinical, operational, and technological investments in population and community health, and together will build upon these significant investments to become a leading model for managing the health of individuals and communities throughout central and south Georgia. Through this exchange of knowledge and deployment of resources and capabilities, patients and local communities will have access to enhanced levels of world-class care in areas like cancer, cardiology, pediatrics, surgery, transplant and behavioral health, complementing the existing levels of strong clinical care today. Together, Atrium Health and Navicent Health can address the significant and disproportionate health disparities that face central and south Georgia residents by deploying innovative care delivery models.
“Navicent Health has a shared mission with Atrium Health to continuously improve healthcare in this region,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, FACHE, president and CEO of Navicent Health. “This is the first major partnership of its type in the Southeast region and ensures a Macon-based institution will continue to be the leading driver of healthcare in central Georgia and beyond, while continuing to elevate the care that is provided locally. This will also give us access to Atrium Health’s wide array of award-winning, proven successes and best practices in healthcare delivery that we can deploy in our service areas. Our ability to provide high level services to improve the health of communities is only possible with support from our community, physicians, employees and partners. We are excited to find a partner that shares in our vision for the future of health.”
Together, Atrium Health and Navicent Health will strengthen central and south Georgia’s healthcare options for the 750,000 residents in this area – from world-class clinical services across multiple sites of care, to managing the health of communities and promoting health coverage and capabilities, to greater access and affordability for their current and future patients, and to enhancing current and future care delivery with technology and innovation.
The signing of this Letter of Intent will allow for more detailed discussions to take place as Atrium Health and Navicent Health will now enter into a time of thoughtful negotiation and due diligence.
About Atrium Health
Atrium Health, previously Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout the Southeast region. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Atrium Health works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.
About Navicent Health
Navicent Health was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Navicent Health Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.