"I have always looked at The Clinic as an asset and not a competitor. They take care of the sickest of the sick. It's great to have that resource this close. But on the other hand, for what most people want taken care of, we have it here at Akron General. It is a good way to start. Both of us have the idea that as time goes on there will be a bigger relationship coming down the road. But both of us are comfortable with this position at the beginning."
Ann Huston, chief strategy officer at Cleveland Clinic, says the deal is expected to be finalized within the next two months.
"We are driving hard over the next several weeks to get our definitive agreement architected," Huston said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "One of the things we did at the beginning our discussions was talk very specifically about what was important to each organization and what the objectives of this relationship would be. And one of those very clear objectives was to continue to have strong Akron-based leadership of Akron General Health System. That had a lot to do with how we crafted the arrangement."
Hospital sector analyst Allan Baumgarten said in an email exchange Tuesday that the deal makes sense for both health systems fighting for a leg up against strong competition in the hotly contested Akron market.