Kootenai Health and Providence Health Care Form Alliance

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Leaders from Kootenai Health and Providence Health Care today announced the formation of a new separate, not-for-profit entity: Kootenai Providence Health Alliance. Through this new alliance, the two organizations will build on their history of working together to better serve patients and improve health across the region.

This is not an acquisition or merger. Both organizations will remain separate and independent.

“As health care leaders in the region, our not-for-profit organizations share a focus to continually improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Jon Ness, chief executive officer of Kootenai Health. “The alliance will give us the infrastructure needed to work more closely together on clinical programs.”

Kootenai Health and Providence have a longstanding history of working together on selected clinical efforts. These include a joint venture for radiation oncology, medical and clinical education, community health education and promotion programs, and Providence medical staff support within Kootenai’s cardiac surgery program.

Last fall the two organizations worked together to bring the Sqord (pronounced “scored”) program (a health and fitness program using an activity tracker similar to a Fitbit®) to fifth graders in Kootenai, Spokane and Stevens counties. And, in December Kootenai Health finalized its decision to transition to Epic, the electronic health record system currently used at Providence Health Care. This transition will help create a shared regional electronic health record, which will make it easier for all medical staff members in both organizations to provide more coordinated, comprehensive patient-centered care.

Future initiatives under consideration include women’s and children’s services, other community wellness initiatives, and additional information technology projects.

The Kootenai Providence Health Alliance will have its own board with equal representation from both organizations. The initial alliance board positions will be filled by Elaine Couture, executive vice president and chief executive of Providence Eastern Washington & Montana; Scott O’Brien, chief strategy officer of Providence Eastern Washington & Montana; Peg Currie, chief operating officer, Providence Health Care; Dean Martz, M.D., chief medical officer of Providence Health Care; Jon Ness, chief executive officer of Kootenai Health; Kimberly Webb, chief financial officer of Kootenai Health; Liese Razzeto, Kootenai Health Board chair; and Walt Fairfax, M.D., chief medical officer of Kootenai Health. Plans are to recruit a chief administrative officer to oversee the work of the alliance.

“Given our mutual interest in creating healthier communities, the alliance helps both organizations achieve their visions by creating the legal and business structure needed to appropriately share data and resources, and work together on selected clinical programs,” adds Elaine Couture, executive vice president and chief executive of Providence Eastern Washington & Montana. “By working together through the alliance, Kootenai and Providence have the opportunity to better coordinate health care services for consumers in the communities we serve, improve access to care, and innovate in care delivery,” she said.

“Kootenai Health is a public hospital that is owned by our community,” said Ness. “This alliance is an important step toward maintaining that independence through strong, shared clinical programs that advance quality and access to specialized services close to home.”

About Kootenai Health

Kootenai Health provides comprehensive medical services to patients in northern Idaho and the Inland Northwest. Its main campus is located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and includes a 292-bed community-owned hospital. Kootenai Health is accredited by DNV. It also holds Magnet designation for nursing excellence, Level III Trauma Center designation, Level III NICU designation, and accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Kootenai is recognized as a center of excellence for total knee and hip replacement, as a top 50 cardiovascular hospital, a Gallup Great Workplace Award winner, an “A” rated facility for patient safety, and an “A” rated organization for financial strength by Standard and Poor’s. Kootenai Health is also a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Kootenai Health is regionally known for its programs in cardiac care, orthopedics, oncology, women’s and children’s services and behavioral health. Kootenai Clinic is comprised of 193 physicians and advanced practitioners providing primary and specialty care in practice locations across the region. For more information, visit www.kh.org.

About Providence Health Care

Providence Health Care is part of the eastern Washington/Montana region of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves—especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. In eastern Washington, the Providence network of services includes Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital in Spokane County–all nationally recognized for quality care, and two critical access hospitals in Stevens County—Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chewelah. The eastern Washington network also includes St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla and Kadlec Health in the TriCities. Providence also includes a full continuum of services—Providence Medical Park in Spokane Valley (a comprehensive multi-specialty center), three urgent care centers, home health, assisted living, adult day health and skilled nursing care. Providence Medical Group in Spokane and Stevens counties includes 800 physicians and advanced practitioners. Its medical staffs includes primary care providers, surgical subspecialists and medical specialists. The Providence network also extends into western Montana including St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson.