Executives at the Seattle-based health system say they are responding to requests for guidance from rural hospitals "who want a partner that understands their perspective."
Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle has formed a consulting group to help community and rural hospitals across a range of challenges.
The new affiliate, NetworxHealth, LLC, is a wholly-owned, for-profit affiliate of Virginia Mason Medical Center, and will provide guidance for boards of directors during transitions in C-level positions.
Consulting services will also include pharmacy operations, continuing medical education, financial management, supply chain efficiency, laboratory operations, group purchasing, facilities and construction project management, the company said in a media release.
"We provide executive and management placement and consulting services for any hospital or medical center in the nation – and we have a special focus on rural and community hospitals," said Noel Rea, MBA, senior director and hospital administrator.
"Rural providers have a unique role in the fabric of their communities as they serve their friends, families and neighbors," Rea says. "Small hospitals often are the cornerstone for the entire health delivery system in their communities. It is important to keep them vibrant, successful and independent."
Ken Freeman, president of Virginia Mason Health Resource Services, says the consulting group "is our response to independent and rural hospitals requesting support over the years."
"We consistently hear from organizations that want a partner that understands their perspective and will be supportive of their particular needs while maintaining local control," Freeman says.
John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.