Apr 06, 2021 9:01 PM

Abilene, Salina hospitals form alliance

Posted Apr 06, 2021 9:01 PM
Memorial Health System board members<i>&nbsp;Mildred Fink and Dr. Steve Schwarting look on as Joel Phelps, president and chief executive officer of Salina Regional Health Center, signs the affiliation agreement.&nbsp;Photo courtesy Memorial Health System</i>
Memorial Health System board members Mildred Fink and Dr. Steve Schwarting look on as Joel Phelps, president and chief executive officer of Salina Regional Health Center, signs the affiliation agreement. Photo courtesy Memorial Health System

Memorial Health System, in Abilene, and Salina Regional Health Center have agreed to enter into a strategic alliance in order to better serve the patients and families of their respective communities in north central Kansas.

The affiliation agreement has been formalized after more than a year of study, discussion, planning and negotiation. The Memorial Health System Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve the affiliation agreement at today’s board meeting.

On Jan. 1, 2022, Salina Regional Health Center will assume responsibility for the management and operations of Memorial Health System. Ownership of the hospital will not change. However, all Memorial Health System employees will become employees of Salina Regional Health Center.

The focus of the affiliation is to increase services and care available to the people of Abilene and Dickinson County. Nothing in the agreement inhibits or eliminates a patient’s ability to choose from whom or where they receive services.

“Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Joel Phelps, president and chief executive officer of Salina Regional Health Center. “This will allow us to align and coordinate services to better fulfill our mission along with Memorial Health System.”

“As health care continues to evolve, it is clear that we must continue to find ways to provide care more efficiently, effectively, and with coordination instead of competition,” said Harold Courtois, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Health System. “This is vital to enable all of us to survive as providers and to improve the patient experience. We are committed to continue to provide and enhance care to those who seek our services.”

“The MHS Board of Trustees have been educating ourselves and discussing the idea of affiliation for years,” said Dr. Steven Schwarting, Memorial Health System board chair. “We are committed to continuing to provide excellent care to our community and surrounding area.”

“This affiliation brings together two historically successful organizations,” Phelps said. “We look forward to working with Memorial Health System to provide more growth, stability and future opportunities.”

Salina Regional Health Center also has affiliations with Cloud County Health Center in Concordia, and Lindsborg Community Hospital.