Go Back

From the CEO: Providence plans for Salem and the importance of working together

21 Mar 2016

By: Cheryl Wolfe, President & CEO of Salem Health

View as a webpage


Providence plans to build an ASC in Salem
You may have attended a meeting with Providence where Providence shared their plan to build an ASC and office building in Salem to treat their 45,000 insured lives. Providence verified this with us, including their intent to start taking community patients to Portland for their hip, knee and spine surgeries. LegacyCherylNesterBowers and Silverton Health along with PacificSource are another example of a new model evolving in our community.

Obviously, this is concerning and represents a significant threat to the hospital and independent practicing physicians. Salem Health is actively working to partner with independent providers to keep care local for our community. Together, we provide a model to sustain provider independence which is not the Providence approach. We provide exceptional care, and believe for many patients, receiving care locally is the best option.

The Providence model contrasts with our affiliation with OHSU. The affiliation model is built on the belief that care is best when delivered regionally. OHSU partnered with Salem Health in large part because of our strength as a community health system.  We believe keeping patients close to home is best for our community, and want to actively partner with our providers to ensure this remains possible, which is why we are working to establish clinically integrated networks (CIN).

Clinically integrated network: Partnerships that provide local, community-based care

Salem Health and community providers pride themselves on serving and providing high quality care to our community. 

As part of our efforts to continually offer high quality, comprehensive local services to our community, we have been actively seeking partnerships with multiple groups through our CIN model.  Clinical integration is a collaboration among a range of health care providers to deliver higher quality, cost-effective care for a given population. We believe clinically integrated networks are one of the key ways to provide our community with care, through partnering with providers in new and innovative ways.

These types of programs are often between physicians and a hospital system and involve working in a coordinated manner while reducing inefficiencies and bringing value to our communities. Our goal is to develop an adaptable model for integration that meets the required clinical, operational, fiduciary, and legal characteristics for success. This readies us as a team for population health and risk contracting with insurance companies.

We have met with over fifteen groups in the community to foster these discussions.  For the past year, we have been working with the local IPA board on common goals and objectives.  Their CIN just launched and we are meeting with their chair, Dr.  Douglas Eliason, to explore common ground and opportunities to work together.

One Patient, One Record
We launched our first Community Connect project, bringing EPIC to Salem Clinic.  Our goal is One Patient, One Record.  Through the CIN structure we are able to offer additional financial support to make this a reality.  Physicians groups who form CINs with us will be the priority groups to install Epic.

Health care is changing rapidly, and we are seeing the ramifications right here in our own community. Change brings with it opportunity, and I believe Salem Health and independent providers have an opportunity to deliver local, high quality care and patient experiences. But the new landscape means neither Salem Health nor local physicians can meet these goals on their own. We can only accomplish these things together. Thank you for your partnership!

One final example which points to the increasing importance of partnerships.
The Joint Commission completed their Disease Specific Certification Survey of the Joint and Spine Centers of Excellence this week. Both passed with flying colors. The surveyor mentioned the level of engagement from front-line to physician leadership, coordination of care with the community, and the implementation and visibility of our Lean processes. The surveyor felt both programs were far ahead of other programs across the US.

Special thanks to Dr. Collada and Dr. Dolan for their outstanding work and leadership in these programs.

To all of you, thank you for all you do to care for the people in our community!