Civista Health System to Affiliate with UMMS

John Commins, May 26, 2011

Civista Health System of Charles County, Maryland said Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to become a member of the University of Maryland Medical System, effective July 1.

Civista Health, with its flagship 130-bed Civista Medical Center in La Plata, MD, has been operated by UMMS under a management agreement that began in 2009. The renewal terms of the 2009 agreement included a provision for UMMS and Civista Health to affiliate, subject to the approval of both the UMMS and Civista Health Boards.

"The past two years have given us an opportunity to experience what a full partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System could mean for Civista Health and the communities we serve," Sara Middleton, chair of Civista Health's Board, said in a media release. "UMMS possesses the resources and scale to help us fulfill our mission to provide the finest in health care services to Charles County and all the citizens of Southern Maryland."

Civista Health and Civista Medical Center will continue to be governed by their own boards and will retain their own foundation. The Civista Health Board will nominate a member to the UMMS Board. 

"Healthcare is very local, and to realize our goals of providing effective healthcare in the communities in which we own hospitals, we must have vibrant, local boards as partners," Robert Chrencik, president/CEO of UMMS, said in a media release.

Working with the UMMS over the past two years, Civista Medical Center implemented clinical quality best practices and is now among the leaders throughout the UMMS in core measures of clinical quality. UMMS and the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine also helped Civista recruit new physicians to the underserved area. The hospital has also seen patient volume increases in the emergency department, inpatient, and surgical services.

Civista has increased the size of its campus through several land and building acquisitions, growing by 40% over the past two years. Financially, following five years of losses, Civista Medical Center experienced three consecutive years of operating gains, assuring that it will meet its financial commitments and reserve funds for needed capital upgrades in the future.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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