GHS and Oconee Medical Center to discuss affiliation opportuniti - FOX Carolina 21

GHS and Oconee Medical Center to discuss affiliation opportunities

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GHS and Oconee Medical Center Memorandum of Understanding approved GHS and Oconee Medical Center Memorandum of Understanding approved
OCONEE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Memorandum of Understanding was approved Monday, stating Greenville Health System and Oconee Medical Center will explore ways to work together more closely.

"Our organizations have a long history of working together to improve quality, service and access to care," said Jeanne Ward, president and CEO of Oconee Medical Center. "As healthcare goes through unprecedented change, now is the time for us to explore ways to work together even more closely to ensure that quality healthcare services continue to be available to the people of Oconee County and surrounding communities."

For the past five years, Oconee Medical Center met with various out-of-state non-profit and for-profit companies about potential opportunities to affiliate, but they decided to pair up with another healthcare organization native to South Carolina.

"We were most comfortable with a South Carolina-based partner that shares our commitment to serving the people of the Upstate," Ward said. "We also feel that having a local partner creates more opportunities for sharing of resources than an out-of-state partner would."

Oconee Medical Center and Greenville Health System have been working on projects together for several years, including telemedicine stroke care and an enhanced cardiac care program that can move a heart attack patient from Oconee County to opening of the heart attack-related artery at a GHS cath lab in about one hour. That program is considered a model for the state.

As stated in the memorandum, the two organizations will now work to strengthen their alliance by studying opportunities to enhance healthcare in Oconee County. 

"We believe that collaboration among hospitals, physicians and other providers is the way to change healthcare for the better," said Michael Riordan, president and CEO of GHS. "Working together allows us to have the resources and expertise needed to improve the health of the communities we serve. That is the ultimate goal. By working together, we can do more than anyone of us could do by ourselves."

The memorandum was approved by the OMC board and the GHS Governance Committee. It does not specify the alliance structure or commit either organization to further action. The organizations will develop a more specific agreement for consideration by both boards.

The memorandum mandates a more formal letter of intent must be complete by March 15. If approved, a final agreement could be ready as soon as June.

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