Eastern Connecticut Health Network hosted a forum on Sept. 11 “to present information, answer questions and address concerns from community volunteers who serve as corporators of ECHN, local officials and business leaders about the for-profit conversion of the network and its proposed affiliation with Vanguard Health Systems and Yale New Haven Health System, or YNHHS.”
ECHN issued the following summary in a news release:
Under the proposed affiliation, Vanguard Health Systems and YNHHS will purchase the assets of ECHN and invest capital resources necessary to ensure the ongoing local delivery of care.
“We are pleased that more than 100 community members attended this community discussion,” said Peter J. Karl, President and CEO of ECHN. “A partnership with Vanguard Health Systems and Yale New Haven will allow us to build on our commitment of providing local access to world-class healthcare. We are bringing together clinical and operational expertise as well as the capital to enhance quality care, access, and efficiency in healthcare for residents east of the river.”
In addition to Karl, Trip Pilgrim, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Vanguard Health Systems; Dr. Dennis O'Neill, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, ECHN; and Gayle Capozzalo, Executive Vice President, Strategy and System Development, Yale New Haven Health System, spoke about the benefits of the partnership to the community. Under the partnership, Vanguard Health Systems will manage and operate ECHN affiliates, including its two hospitals, Manchester Memorial and Rockville General. YNHHS will provide ongoing clinical support, quality and service line management, while remaining independent and not-forprofit. ECHN Hosts Community Forum to Discuss Benefits of the partnership to the community.
Under the partnership, Vanguard Health Systems will manage and operate ECHN affiliates, including its two hospitals, Manchester Memorial and Rockville General. YNHHS will provide ongoing clinical support, quality and service line management, while remaining independent and not-for-profit.
“There are a lot of myths associated with the for-profit conversion of hospitals. As a for-profit, we pay taxes and we provide immediate access to capital to invest in technology, infrastructure and growth,” said Pilgrim. “We offer a model of growth, and to achieve this model, we need to further improve the quality of care and the services we provide. We also have to understand the local community needs. The way to do this is through the current ECHN employees, making them an important part of our success.”
“Clinical services, health education, the provision of special care and healthcare for uninsured and underinsured patients all remain a top-priority for ECHN. Vanguard Health Systems has a track record of providing charity care. It also has a history of investing in hospitals and the communities in which they operate,” said Dr. O'Neill. “Our partnership with Vanguard and Yale New Haven will continue to expand the services we offer and allow us to invest even more into the community.”
A Letter of Intent signed in August outlines how the partnership will deliver sophisticated care across a wide spectrum of primary and specialty services. Through an integrated delivery network, ECHN will achieve significant cost and operation efficiencies, and will be prepared for the changes associated with healthcare reform.
“As the healthcare industry changes, we need to adapt the way we provide care. This innovative partnership allows us to find ways to enhance quality and improve access, while managing costs,” said Capozzalo. “Each organization has something unique to bring to the table in this partnership. Yale New Haven will provide clinical support and offer specialty services to supplement the primary care at ECHN. We see this partnership as a win for everyone - most especially for the patients we serve.”