UW Today

January 18, 2011

UW Medicine, Valley Medical Center to explore strategic alliance

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

On January 18, 2011, the chief executive officers of UW Medicine and Valley Medical Center (VMC) announced the signing of a non-binding Letter of Intent to explore a strategic alliance in which Valley Medical Center, Public Hospital District #1 of King County, would join UW Medicine. UW Medicine currently includes: Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine and Airlift Northwest.

With the signing of the non-binding Letter of Intent, our organizations will begin in-depth due diligence, discussion with respective boards, communication with key stakeholders, and preparation of a strategic alliance agreement for approval by the governing boards of both organizations. The work is expected to be completed by May 31, 2011.

Valley Medical Center and UW Medicine are exploring a strategic alliance to increase access to additional health care services for South King County residents, align best practice models, expand clinical, teaching and research programs, and position both organizations for future healthcare reform opportunities, such as the creation of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

The exploration of a strategic alliance between UW Medicine and Valley Medical Center provides exciting opportunities to explore what can be accomplished in the future through combining efforts on important initiatives to benefit patients and the community.

“UW Medicine and Valley Medical Center share a commitment to providing outstanding clinical care with an emphasis on patient safety and service,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine and dean of the UW School of Medicine.  “A strategic alliance would support our mission of improving the health of the public and would enhance our ability to provide national leadership for health care reform.”

“A formal collaboration with UW Medicine can provide enormous opportunities for VMC to further our ability to provide even more comprehensive care to the residents of our hospital district,” said Rich Roodman, CEO of Valley Medical Center. “With this strategic alliance, we would be able to give our local community access to additional clinical services as well as additional depth of sub-specialization through the expertise of one of the top medical organizations in the United States,” Roodman said. “VMC brings strong community support, a personalized and innovative patient-care environment, and a history of superior clinical outcomes and technical innovation. Combining these features with the excellence of UW Medicines clinical, teaching and research programs would certainly be a benefit to the residents of South King County.”

About UW Medicine

UW Medicine trains health professionals and medical scientists, conducts research to improve health and prevent disease, and provides primary and specialty care to patients throughout Seattle/King County and the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region.  UW Medicine includes Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW School of Medicine, UW Physicians, and Airlift Northwest.  UW Medicine also shares in the ownership and governance of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Childrens Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and shares in ownership of Childrens University Medical Group with Seattle Childrens Hospital.

UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with Seattle Childrens Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, and the VA Hospital in Boise.  The UW School of Medicine has been ranked #1 in the nation in primary-care training for the past 17 years by US News & World Report and is the top public institution for receipt of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health and second among all institutions for NIH funding, public and private.  UW Medicines  2,000 faculty physicians and nearly 5,000 volunteer and part-time faculty include four Nobel Laureates, 32 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 33 members of the Institute of Medicine.  For more information about UW Medicine, visit http://www.uwmedicine.org/.

About Valley Medical Center

Valley Medical Center (VMC) is a 303-bed acute care hospital and clinic network committed to providing safe, quality, compassionate care for more than 63 years. The oldest and largest public district hospital in the State of Washington, VMC proudly serves over 400,000 residents in South King County. Dedicated to patient safety and improving the overall health of the community, VMC is a thriving medical center that focuses resources on major disease areas and specialties, including: emergency and trauma care, joint replacement, neuroscience, childbirth and Level III neonatal ICU, surgical services, critical care, cancer services, breast health, sleep medicine, diabetes education and much more. Through Valley Medical Group, a  network of primary care clinics serve as a medical home for care management, urgent care clinics provide a safety net of after-hours care and walk-in consult and treatment, and over a dozen specialty clinics provide convenient access throughout the district.

As the largest nonprofit health care provider between Seattle and Tacoma, Valley Medical Center is South King Countys only disaster recovery facility and offers advanced emergency care in our Level III Trauma Center. VMCs joint replacement program was proudly rated #1 in Washington by HealthGrades for 2009 and 2010. Ranked Top 10 in the Nation as a Best Place to Work in Healthcare for 2009 and 2010, Valley Medical Center attracts world class clinicians through state-of-the- art facilities and technology, award-winning teamwork and an atmosphere of medical excellence.  For more information, visit online at www.valleymed.org.