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By Cheryl Wolfe, president and CEO, and Ken Graven, MD, medical staff president
In November 2015, Salem Health affiliated with Oregon Health & Science University. Through a joint management agreement, they formed OHSU Partners, a joint management company created to manage their combined clinical enterprises as a single economic entity and united health system.
The affiliation was a new and untested model, and innovative approaches to health care require regular assessment and course correction. After conversations between the boards of Salem Health and OHSU, both parties agree that the affiliation structure was not working in the way originally intended.
As a result, both organizations have mutually agreed to end the joint management agreement and renegotiate a new agreement. Salem Health has transferred its interest in OHSU Partners to OHSU Healthcare. With these changes, the financial relationship returns to its original state, and the quarterly payments between the organizations to create a single financial bottom line have been eliminated. Salem Health and OHSU reassume full management and oversight of their own clinical enterprises.
Health care is full of change, and innovation is nothing to be afraid of, even when it doesn’t go exactly as planned. Through our affiliation with OHSU, we have made many worthwhile investments that will continue to produce results for our community. While some joint projects will remain on hold until a new agreement is reached, other work will continue, such as the pediatric specialty clinic, pediatric hospitalists, TAVR, and the relationship with Knight Cancer Institute.
Salem Health is a strong health care system, not just financially, but because of our commitment to patient experience and constant improvement. Our medical staff leaders have played a significant role in the partnership as well and we want to acknowledge both their past contributions and those going forward. Together, we are well positioned to provide not only the highest quality of care but to make decisions in the very best interest of the communities we serve.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.