The seven member county-elected Board of Trustees of Story County Medical Center has approved a new affiliation with Iowa Health – Des Moines, a senior affiliate of the Iowa Health System.
Story County Medical Center’s affiliation with Iowa Health – Des Moines will be effective February 1, 2013 and will replace its current agreement with Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines. The agreement with Iowa Health – Des Moines will provide hospital management and consultation services and will also include the necessary affiliation services for Story Medical to meet the requirements to maintain its status as a rural Critical Access Hospital.
Story Medical will remain locally governed, but its affiliation with Iowa Health – Des Moines will make Story Medical a vital member of Iowa’s largest healthcare provider network.
"The Story County Medical Center Board of Trustees spent considerable time evaluating Story Medical’s operations and management in light of changing local, state and national health care environment," said Dave Anderson, Chairman of the Story Medical Board of Trustees. "We have undergone dramatic change in the last 5 years, including a move to the south campus and a new facility, but the changes faced by all rural hospitals in the next 5 years will be even more significant."
Anderson said, "Mercy, Quorum and Iowa Health each brought something different to the table, but after considerable discussion the board determined Iowa Health – Des Moines’ vision, management expertise and health care network was best suited to meet the community and the Medical Center’s needs."
"We are very proud and honored to have the opportunity to partner with Story Medical," said Eric Crowell, president and CEO of Iowa Health – Des Moines. "We are looking forward to working together to find new ways and opportunities to improve medical care for the people of Story County and surrounding communities."
Iowa Health System successfully operates a decentralized governance model with emphasis on physician-driven, patient-centric care. This model allows its affiliates to maintain local autonomy in all significant areas where local control provides the highest quality, most cost-effective service to patients and their families. Story Medical will retain its Board of Directors and its resources will continue to meet the needs of the people Story County.
Todd Willert, administrator, will remain an employee of Mercy Medical Center. Iowa Health – Des Moines will work with the Story Medical Board to name an interim CEO as quickly as possible. It is anticipated the search for a permanent CEO will take three to four months.
"Todd has been a member of the Story County Medical Center for over 18 years," Anderson said. "He has served with distinction and will be missed. We wish him well and are confident he will continue to excel in the Mercy organization."
The status of Story Medical employees will not change, and the local leadership team will maintain responsibility for operations going forward as they have in the past. This affiliation allows Story Medical to retain its governance structure
while taking advantage of greater system-wide resources, clinical platforms, best practices and many other advantages that will benefit the people in the communities it serves.
Story County Medical Center and Iowa Health value the relationships patients have with their local providers and are dedicated to work collaboratively with all physicians during the transition period. Physicians and other providers who have an interest in continuing to serve Story Medical and the community are encouraged to do so.
"This affiliation agreement allows Story Medical access to a number of services and resources at Iowa Health – Des Moines, but it is up to Story Medical to determine which of these services and resources it will utilize," Anderson said. "Management support and other shared services will move to Iowa Health, and this realignment will largely be unseen by both the community and many of the employees of Story Medical. Over time, the citizens of Story County will see important changes in care delivery that will assure patients are receiving high quality and valued local health care services."
About Iowa Health – Des Moines
Iowa Health – Des Moines includes Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Methodist West Hospital, Blank Children’s Hospital, and John Stoddard Cancer Center and more than 50 primary care physician clinics throughout central Iowa. Iowa Health averages more than 32,600 inpatient admissions and 1,041,000 outpatient visits each year. For more information, visit www.iowahealth.org.
About Story Medical:
For 60 years, Story County Medical Center, Story Medical Clinics and Story Medical Senior Care have been the trusted providers of high-quality, local healthcare services for the residents of Story County. Their modern South Campus creates a healing environment that matches the personalized care and clinical expertise of its medical staff. Visit www.StoryMedical.org for more information.