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New gynecological oncology collaboration

26 Mar 2023

SH expands services with Providence and Samaritan Health

By: Jennifer Fowler, vice president of Finance and Service Line Operations, and Matt Boles, MD, executive vice president, Surgical Services and Medical Affairs

Salem Health continually seeks ways to improve care in the community – which often means providing access to care as close to home as possible.

Salem Health is pleased to announce a collaboration with Providence Health & Services and Samaritan Health Services to expand gynecological oncology care at Salem Health Cancer Institute and the surrounding area. Our current contract with OHSU will conclude in December 2023.

We understand some patients may wish to continue seeing their OHSU provider and we will be working to ensure a smooth transition.

What about our relationship with Knight Cancer Institute?

Our affiliation with Knight Cancer Center has focused around research. We will continue our participation in the Pathfinder project, which runs through December 2023, and continue to collaborate with Knight and other cancer research organizations across the nation.

Why are you ending the relationship with OHSU?

Salem Health’s contract with OHSU to provide gynecological oncology services required providers to split their time between Portland and Salem. This new collaboration will allow Salem Health, Providence and Samaritan Health to use a shared employment model, which will expand access to specialists across the mid-valley and surrounding areas, align resources and enhance the patient. The OHSU physicians have been an integral component of care and we deeply appreciate the care they have provided to our patients.

My patient doesn’t have Providence insurance. Can they use these services?

Yes. The collaboration will accept patients from a variety of insurance plans, and will not be exclusive to Providence.

What about the OHSU physicians?

Salem Health deeply appreciates the physicians who provide care to our patients through the contract with OHSU. Their compassion and skill is evident and, over the years, they have become friends as well as colleagues. One of the goals of our collaboration with Providence and Samaritan Health is to increase access to care that is close to home and provide a care team geographically-dedicated to patients in the mid-valley. OHSU providers were expected to cover both the Portland and Salem markets, resulting in less on-site coverage than our program desired. Because of the long lead time notifying OHSU, their providers will remain on our team for several more months, which will give us time to ensure a smooth transition for patients and medical staff alike.

Can I still refer my patients to OHSU?

We believe our decision to collaborate with Providence and Samaritan is in the best interest of our patients. We have developed trusted relationships with many providers and will do what is in the best interest of patients. This collaboration will create a dedicated resource for gynecological oncology care in the mid-valley. We look forward to earning your trust and confidence as our relationship with Providence and Samaritan develops.

How will you communicate with patients?

Our top priority is a smooth transition, free of gaps in care. We have already begun a cascading communication plan to affected patients explaining options and steps to either remain with their physician, or shift to the new collaboration.