The leadership of Doctors’ Memorial Hospital (DMH) and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) have finalized an agreement creating an equal governance partnership between the two institutions that will ultimately enhance services to DMH and expand its role in Taylor County’s health care system, according to Ken Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors, DMH, and Mark O’Bryant, President & CEO of TMH.
The agreement took effect on January 1st.
The partnership will be focused on strengthening and expanding clinical services to improve access to care; improving availability to advanced clinical tools that will improve clinical quality, and bolster financial practices to ensure stability.
"Offering high quality, cost efficient healthcare is becoming more financially challenging for large and small hospitals across the country. This agreement is one way that Doctors’ Memorial Hospital will continue to evolve and innovate in order to meet the needs of our community," said Ken Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doctors’ Memorial Hospital. "The entire Board of Directors of Doctors’ Memorial Hospital is pleased with the support and trust provided by the Taylor County Commissioners, administrative staff and our hospital employees during this process. With the continued support of our community, the partnership between Doctors’ Memorial and Tallahassee Memorial will offer the potential for financial stability of our hospital well into the future for the residents of Taylor and surrounding counties.” The new agreement calls for a 50-50 shared decision-making model. As part of the agreement, two TMH administrators will join the Doctors’ Memorial Hospital Board of Directors.
"We feel our Tallahassee Memorial colleagues can bring new ideas to assist Doctors’ Memorial in providing the very best care to Taylor County and its surrounding communities,“ said Mark O’Bryant. He has also committed to be one of the two TMH colleagues who will sit on the DMH Board of Directors.
The new agreement also continues one aspect of the original agreement between the two hospitals signed in 2009 in which TMH employs the DMH Chief Executive Officer, and other key leadership roles, that report directly to the DMH Board of Directors.
Geri Forbes, is the current Chief Executive Officer of Doctors’ Memorial and will continue in that position, according to Ken Arnold.
Under the new agreement representatives from DMH and TMH will work cooperatively to prioritize projects important to reaching the long-range goals of improved access, quality and financial stability.
One such program is currently underway to improve access to medical care. Tallahassee Memorial is expanding its groundbreaking work to expand telemedicine in areas outside of Leon County. TMH is currently a leading an effort in the next state legislative session to remove road blocks that will bring the advantages of telemedicine to the entire state of Florida. Already, TMH is providing telemedicine services between Doctors’ Memorial and Tallahassee Memorial emergency rooms.
Tallahassee Memorial has also strengthened its own partnerships with North Florida academic institutions, Florida State University and UF Health, formally Shands Hospital. TMH recently added a second residency program in internal medicine with the assistance of the Florida State University College of Medicine. In 2012, the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center affiliated with UF Health to boost its efforts in cancer research and improve patient access to clinical trials.