Stanly Regional Medical Center
ALBEMARLE Stanly Regional Medical Center has signed a strategic alliance with Carolinas Healthcare System, (CHS) expanding healthcare services for Stanly County residents.
The agreement maintains community ownership and control of the independent, not-for-profit, private medical center with roots in Stanly County Hospital, which opened in 1950. CHS, the parent company of Carolinas Medical Center and 18 other hospitals, is the largest healthcare system in the Carolinas and is recognized for excellence in such areas as neonatal, maternity, cardiac, neuroscience, spine and cancer care.
The Board of Directors made an extensive effort to identify the organization that would best fit us in a strategic alliance, said Al Taylor, CEO of Stanly Regional. Our commitment to local ownership, management and control is very strong. This alliance is unique among CHS affiliations.
The two organizations will focus on developing new services in the fast-growing western end of Stanly County. A team from Stanly Regional and CHS will engage the West Stanly area communities in identifying healthcare needs.
Stanly Regional always has had one mission, said John Lowder, chairman of the Board of Directors, and that is to meet the needs of the community. Through this alliance, we will have a greater opportunity to expand our services and meet those needs in a changing community and evolving healthcare environment.
The alliance will not affect services at the main campus of Stanly Regional in Albemarle.
Stanly Regional has completed a strategic plan that included a review of the situation facing the medical center and a search for options for the best strategic partner.
For nearly a year, our board has been engaged in a thoughtful and deliberate process that has benefited from input from leaders throughout the County and discussions with several potential collaborators, said Lowder. We believe CHS is the best fit for Stanly Regional.
Michael Tarwater, president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, said, We are very proud that Stanly Regional Medical Center has chosen to align with us. They do an excellent job of serving everyone in their community. We look forward to working with them to enhance the healthcare services offered in western Stanly County.
Lowder noted that financial pressures continue to mount on hospitals because of declining reimbursement. The environment is changing with more consolidation and increased competition in the Charlotte region. CHS and NorthEast Medical Center in Concord are scheduled to merge in June, while Novant is planning a new hospital in Mint Hill near the western section of Stanly County.
The Board believes now is the time, while the medical center is in a strong financial position, to align ourselves with a large system which can bring additional resources to Stanly County, Lowder said.
In addition to expanding medical services, the alliance is expected to result in additional physician opportunities to practice in Stanly County, according to Linda Lawrence, MD, a Board member.
As we develop the Stanly Regional West campus and our alliance with CHS moves forward, I predict new offices and new physicians who will serve the people of Stanly County so they will not have to travel outside the County for most medical services, said Lawrence, a pediatrician.
Stanly Regional and CHS will share the financial risk of developing services in the West Stanly area, and that will make available funds to continue to invest in the facilities on the Albemarle campus, so this is a win-win situation for our patients and the community, Taylor said.
With the alliance, Stanly Regional will have an even greater economic impact on the community, Lowder said. My opinion is that the alliance will result in more of our healthcare dollars staying in Stanly County and new revenue into the local economy, enhancing the quality of life for everyone. I believe we will see a number of new jobs created as a result of the alliance.
The alliance will have no effect on Stanly Regionals plans for development of Phase I of the Stanly Regional West campus.
Our plans for medical offices and the imaging center will go forward as scheduled with construction beginning next month, Taylor said.
The Stanly Regional campus has 21 acres and was designed to accommodate expansion, so the projects that are spawned from the alliance also will be constructed in Locust.
We anticipate an array of outpatient services and physician offices on this campus over the coming years, said Taylor.
Stanly Regional, NorthEast and CHS have been the primary providers of healthcare in Stanly County for years. According to an independent research organization, Stanly Regional registered 62 percent share of the inpatient market and NorthEast and CHS had a combined 27 percent in the first three quarters of 2006.
This alliance will seem quite comfortable to Stanly County patients, said Darlene Stibal, MD, Chief of the Medical Staff of Stanly Regional. We have been collaborating with NorthEast and CHS for years. We are excited about the possibilities of this alliance and the benefits they will bring to the people of Stanly County.
Stanly Regional Medical Center