Officials with the University of Louisville, Louisville-based Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Lexington-based Saint Joseph Health System have formally approved plans for the three entities to form a statewide healthcare delivery system.
Though the partnership agreement must still receive regulatory and church approvals before becoming effective – a process that could take up to 12 months – officials with the participating organizations say they are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
The new healthcare system will include hospitals, clinics, specialty institutions, home health agencies and satellite primary care centers, and will bring together more than 3,000 academic and community physicians.
“There is so much more we can accomplish together,” said Bob Hewett, a long-time board member of the Saint Joseph Health System and its predecessor who will be the first chair of the system’s community board of trustees. “Most important, we will be increasing access to basic and advanced health services. That will lead to improving the health not only of individual patients, but of entire communities.”
Plans include integrating medical research, education, technology and healthcare services wherever patients receive care and extending UofL’s research and teaching programs statewide, using technology – especially telemedicine – to allow network physicians to expand access to specialty care.
For example, Saint Joseph hospitals and the University of Louisville Hospital now use telemedicine robots to provide stroke, neurology and other specialty care in partnership with other facilities.
Plans are for Catholic Health Initiatives to make an incremental capital infusion of $320 million to support the system’s mission and healthcare services statewide. The new system also will invest $200 million in capital to expand the academic medical center in Louisville and $100 million in statewide healthcare services.