By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley) —St. Joseph Health, the parent organization of St. Mary in Apple Valley, recently announced a historic affiliation with Hoag Memorial Hospital. The new regional health care affiliation will take bold, innovative measures to transform health care delivery, ultimately becoming a model for addressing some of the biggest challenges in American health care.
The organizations intend to form an integrated regional health system including their respective Southern California hospitals, an expansive physician network, and numerous outpatient and urgent care facilities in Orange County and the High Desert. Their shared vision includes taking action to fix fragmented systems of care, greatly improve access for the underserved, and deliver on the goal of making the region among the healthiest in the country.
“This affiliation is a catalyst to extend our mission and make a real difference in health care delivery by assuring a system of highly-connected, quality services. New access points will be developed to enhance community wellness and allow more people to benefit from the research and advanced care of a vast network of doctors, clinics, and exceptional hospitals,” said Deborah Proctor, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health. “We believe St. Joseph Health and Hoag have the foresight and expertise to address some of the greatest needs and accomplish the greatest good for Orange County and the High Desert. This is a critical step for the future of our communities that only can be accomplished by the brightest minds and the biggest hearts in health care.”
Specifically, the health system leaders have identified as part of their vision:
• Clinicians will work together to achieve better clinical outcomes, make care more efficient and improve the overall patient experience
• Quality-focused, coordinated programs that will address care for the poor and underserved and fill gaps that have widened under present-day economic realities
• A focus on care extending beyond the acute hospital setting, including wellness, prevention programs, long-term care, and palliation of suffering
• Specialized health services that would otherwise require treatment outside the community
• Opportunities for partnerships with other health care participants, both traditional and non-traditional
Under the affiliation, Hoag and St. Joseph Health will retain their individual identities and faith affiliations – Presbyterian and Catholic, respectively.
In planning to work together, St. Joseph Health and Hoag recognized many similarities. They are both non-profit, faith-based health care organizations, committed to providing the highest quality, affordable, and accessible health care services in the community. Both institutions achieve this through thoughtful planning of their networks of services, fostering an environment of “best practice” health care, and reaching out to vulnerable populations through extensive community benefit programs.
The planning process is being aided by support from the community, elected officials, faith-based organizations, physicians, and hospital employees. Their support and review continue to be instrumental in this process.
The health systems entered into a letter of intent to form an affiliation. The next step is an application with the California Office of the Attorney General, which is planned for October and could require more than 100 days for a decision.
For more information, visit www.stjoe.org