FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2009
Contact: Joan Shnipper, University of Maryland Medical System
The Boards of Directors of Civista Health, LaPlata, MD, and the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), Baltimore, have approved an agreement that placed management of the Charles County health system under the direction of UMMS effective October 1. Civista Health’s largest component is the 130-bed Civista Medical Center, which completed an expansion in 2008 that doubled its size.
Under terms of the 2-year management agreement, UMMS will provide Civista Health with the following services:
Civista Health’s current Chief Executive Officer, Noel Cervino, and its Chief Financial Officer, Erik Boas, have become employees of UMMS and will continue in their existing positions. UMMS is currently recruiting a new Chief Medical Officer for Civista Health. All other staff will remain employees of Civista Health.
James Burke, Chair of Civista Health’s Board, welcomed the agreement, calling it “an opportunity to strengthen our capabilities to meet this growing community’s health needs by aligning with a health system that possesses the resources and scale to help us accomplish what we could not do alone.” He emphasized that with a management agreement, unlike a merger, governance of Civista Health will continue to be controlled locally by Civista Health’s existing 15-member Board of Directors. He noted, too, that the Civista Health Foundation, which raises support for Civista Medical Center, also will remain locally controlled. “All foundation decisions will continue to be made by the Foundation’s local Board,” he said, “and all fundraising will continue to be used for Civista Medical Center exclusively.”
The agreement includes an option to renew the management contract at the end of the two-year term by the consensus of both parties, as well as an option for UMMS to assume all assets of Civista and operate it as a wholly-owned affiliate of UMMS, subject to the approval of both the UMMS and Civista Boards. “The next two years will give us an opportunity to assess which of these choices best positions Civista Health to fufill our mission to provide the finest in health care services to Charles County and all the citizens of Southern Maryland,” Burke said.
Hospitals and health systems such as Civista Health confront a significant number of challenges that are difficult to overcome as a stand-alone organization, Cervino explained. “Critically important management services such as information technology, supply chain management, group purchasing, strategic planning and clinical services development can be delivered more efficiently and effectively through a larger system.” He added that Civista Health wants to expand the medical services it offers, in both primary care and medical specialties, to meet growing patient demands and expectations.
“To do that,” he said, “we must recruit more physicians, both primary care and specialists, to practice locally. UMMS can help us.” UMMS has a strong partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Together, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center train more than half of the state's physicians. Cervino also cited UMMS’ record of working successfully with community-based health care providers similar in character to Civista Health.
Robert Chrencik, president and CEO of UMMS, explained that the management agreement with Civista health is “consistent with our goal to create a statewide network of care that encompasses community-based health providers, tertiary health providers such as University of Maryland Medical Center, and cutting-edge medical research performed by the University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty. In the coming two years, we look forward to assessing how our relationship with Civista Health can help us in achieving our organizational goal.”
ABOUT CIVISTA HEALTH:
In 1939, Physician's Memorial Hospital opened to provide care for the citizens of Charles County, MD in response to a devastating tornado. In 1963, having outgrown its location, the hospital opened its new facility on East Charles Street in downtown La Plata. As the hospital grew and offered more services, it became a regional integrated health system and needed a name that would represent all of the system’s entities. In 1998 it became “Civista,” formed from the words "civic" and “vista,” to reflect both its mission of community service and its continuing goals for the future.
The University of Maryland Medical System, a not-for-profit health system, is an 11-hospital network that includes the University of Maryland Medical Center, Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital, University Specialty Hospital, Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Shore Health System (Memorial Hospital at Easton and Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge), Chester River Health System and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, which is owned jointly with the Johns Hopkins Health System. In July, UMMS announced a strategic affiliation with Upper Chesapeake Health System that is expected to lead to a full merger by 2013. Upper Chesapeake Health includes Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. As the third-largest private employer in the Baltimore metro area, the University of Maryland Medical System generates nearly $3.5 billion in economic activity in Maryland and has $2.1 billion of operating revenues. UMMS employs 15,000 people, has more than 2,300 licensed beds and more than 115,000 annual patient admissions.