FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2006
Contact: Joan Shnipper (jshnipper@umm.edu) University of Maryland Medical System
410-328-6776
Patti Willis,   Shore Health System
410-822-1000 x 5508

SHORE HEALTH SYSTEM TO JOIN UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL SYSTEM

Merger To Go Into Effect July 1, 2006

The University of Maryland Medical System announced today that the board of directors of Shore Health System, the largest provider of health services in the Mid-Shore counties of Maryland, voted unanimously last night to approve an agreement that will result in a merger of the two institutions.

The board vote results from discussions that began in June 2004, a letter of intent that was signed by the two organizations in October 2005, and the subsequent development of a business plan focusing on how to meet the increasingly complex health care needs of a growing Mid-Shore population.

Shore Health System serves patients in a five-county region that includes Caroline, Talbot, Dorchester, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. Shore Health System and its facilities will continue to operate under their current names. The agreement also retains a strong local presence on the Shore Health System board of directors, affiliate boards and the Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“This merger of two strong health systems will advance the missions of both,” said Edmond F. Notebaert, President and CEO of UMMS. “For the University of Maryland Medical System, this partnership furthers the fulfillment of our goal to provide quality health care through a regional system composed of a world-class academic medical center partnered with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and premiere community and specialty hospitals. This merger will bring our services to a new part of Maryland, expand existing clinical service relationships and create new ones, improve access to tertiary services for the most serious and complex medical conditions, and create expanded opportunities for clinical research and teaching.”

“This is a win/win for the people of the Shore and for Maryland,” said Joseph P. Ross, President and CEO of Shore Health System. “The synergies we will create with this agreement will be both positive and profound.”

As a result of the merger, residents of the Mid-Shore region are expected to benefit from enhanced clinical programs and facilities, improved physician access, and greater convenience to advanced health care services. “While Shore Health System is already the Mid-Shore’s leading health care provider, combining with UMMS will over time make it even easier for residents to access specialized health care services they need without crossing the Bay Bridge,” said John W. Dillon, Chair of Shore Health System’s Board.

“We have been partners with Shore Health System through several successful programs that have benefited patients in the Mid-Shore area in recent years. For example, the two organizations have existing relationships through Maryland ExpressCare, which provides critically ill patients on the Mid-Shore rapid access to specialized services at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore,” says John W. Ashworth III, the University of Maryland Medical System’s Senior Vice President of Network Development.

Health system leaders pointed to numerous anticipated benefits of the merger, which include:

  • The ability to recruit more physicians to practice on the Mid-Shore. With strong population growth on the Mid-Shore expected in the coming years, combined with anticipated retirements among physicians already practicing in Mid-Shore communities, the need to recruit new physicians is increasingly urgent. UMMS, through its relationship with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will help Shore Health System address current and future physician needs.
  • Expansion of clinical services. As a result of the merger, specific clinical enhancements are planned in areas such as cardiac, neuro, cancer, diabetes and children’s care, which will enable more Shore residents to seek the advanced care they need closer to home.
  • Access to capital to finance needed facilities expansion. Population growth on the Mid-Shore will make it necessary to enhance and expand health care facilities. The business plan developed in the merger negotiations includes completion of the following facility projects during the coming decade:
    • Expanded ambulatory care facilities in fast-growing Queen Anne’s and Caroline Counties
    • Expansion of the Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital slated to be completed in 2007
    • New physician offices and renovation and expansion of Dorchester General Hospital
    • Replacement of the current Memorial Hospital facility with a new hospital at a location yet to be determined.

No job losses are expected to result from the merger. “This merger is about growth and opportunity,” Ross explained. The merger will be effective July 1, 2006, subject to standard closing procedures.

About Shore Health System:

Shore Health System was formed in 1996 with the affiliation of Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge and the Memorial Hospital at Easton, which have served their communities for a century. The system includes a total of 187 acute beds in the two hospitals, a 33-bed skilled nursing facility and a complete range of outpatient diagnostic and treatment facilities throughout the Mid-Shore. Shore Health System also includes a Regional Cancer Center, Joint Replacement Center, Birthing Center, Sleep Disorders Center, Wound Healing Center, Home Health and Hospice, Behavioral Health and other specialty services that provide comprehensive care for the region. More than 1,700 employees and 200 physicians are part of Shore Health System, which has annual revenues of more than $172 million.

About University of Maryland Medical System:

The University of Maryland Medical System is a six-hospital system with academic, community and specialty service missions reaching every part of Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. The Medical System has 11,000 employees, more than 1,600 licensed beds and revenues of $1.5 billion. The six hospitals that make up the Medical System are:

  • University of Maryland Medical Center, an innovative teaching hospital in downtown Baltimore, provides a full range of health care services. It is a referral center for the most serious and complicated health problems in adults and children. The medical center includes the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the University of Maryland Hospital for Children.
  • Baltimore Washington Medical Center, an acute care community hospital located in Anne Arundel County that serves patients from throughout the Baltimore/Washington corridor.
  • Maryland General Hospital, an urban teaching hospital that provides comprehensive and accessible community health care for residents of Midtown and West Baltimore.
  • Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital, located in Woodlawn, is the state's largest rehabilitation and orthopaedic hospital serving both adults and children. It also houses the University of Maryland Complementary Medicine Program.
  • University Specialty Hospital, a chronic care hospital located in downtown Baltimore that focuses on the complex needs of chronically ill patients.
  • Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, a pediatric and rehabilitation hospital located in northwest Baltimore that provides specialty medical care to infants and children with complex medical needs.

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