Glens Falls Hospital and Albany Medical Center have begun a process designed to lead to better coordination of care for residents of Warren and Washington counties and greater operational efficiency for both organizations.
The goal of this strategic alliance is to ensure that the Glens Falls region continues to have access to the highest quality care, as well as expanded access to specialty care services, officials said.
Glens Falls Hospital, which has long been a partner in care with Albany Med, joins Saratoga Hospital and Columbia Memorial Hospital in a system that will now total 1,507 beds, almost 60,000 surgical cases and nearly 2.5 million outpatient visits annually.
An affiliation agreement between Saratoga Hospital and Albany Medical Center that officials said created a more efficient health care system and improved access to specialty care for residents of Saratoga County, received state approval in October of 2016.
The agreement with Glens Falls, adopted by the governing boards of both organizations, will help better coordinate and integrate clinical services and identify operational efficiencies between Glens Falls Hospital and Albany Med, the regional tertiary care center, officials said.
The governing boards, medical staffs, employees and fundraising arms from both institutions would remain separate under the envisioned structure. In addition, the anticipated operational efficiencies envisioned under such a potential affiliation would strengthen both organizations. The action taken by the respective hospital governing boards initiates a mutual due diligence process to fully assess an affiliation and identify matters that require outside approvals. The process is expected to take several months.
“This move will preserve and protect high-quality healthcare services for the people of our region, and provide our patients with improved access to advanced medical specialists and other resources,” said Glens Falls Hospital President and CEO Dianne Shugrue. “Albany Med has built an outstanding healthcare system, based on a model of regional integration and local governance, with Saratoga Hospital and Columbia Memorial as affiliates. We look forward to joining and enhancing that system.”
“This mutually beneficial affiliation will deliver operational, medical and technical efficiencies that will enable Glens Falls Hospital to preserve and protect existing healthcare services while integrating critically important advanced medicine options and other resources that are in high demand throughout our region,” said Ed Bartholomew, president of EDC Warren County.
He said the hospital brings to the affiliation a “vast array of skilled medical and technical professionals, staff, administration and existing network of facilities and practices. This new alliance will enhance Glens Falls Hospital’s ability to deliver quality healthcare for a wide ranging multi-county service area in the Southern Adirondacks and beyond”.
According to Bartholomew, Glens Falls Hospital is the Glens Falls region’s largest employer and is consistently ranked as one of the largest hospitals in the Capital Region. The EDC welcomes the opportunity to continue working with Glens Falls Hospital in obtaining assistance for important projects. The EDC stands ready to assist in any way possible to achieve positive results for the new alliance.
Albany Med President and CEO James Barba said the alliance is “another step forward in our goal of developing and solidifying the largest, locally governed health system in our region, and a system that will deliver the most comprehensive and integrated array of care for our communities.”
“Our approach to building a network reflects our commitment to respecting and building on our affiliates strengths and enhancing access for all of our patients to sophisticated and high quality care,” said Dr. Steven Frisch, Albany Med senior executive vice president. “Glens Falls Hospital has long been a partner in care with us and an affiliation will strengthen clinical programs.”
Hospital leaders from both organizations cited the evolving nature of health care delivery as an impetus for affiliation discussions, and said the collaboration will work to enhance patients’ experience, provide the best care in the most appropriate setting, improve outcomes, and measurably improve the health of communities they serve.
Glens Falls Hospital operates an advanced health care delivery system through 24 regional facilities in 11 communities. A vast array of specialized medical and surgical services are provided, including the C.R. Wood Cancer Center and the Joyce Stock Snuggery. Founded in 1897, Glens Falls Hospital services a 6,000 square mile region across Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Hamilton counties.
Albany Med incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice at more than 20 locations.