MORGANTOWN — Mon Health System announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an an affiliation agreement with Grafton City Hospital “to ensure Grafton area citizens continue to have independent health care choice close to home.”
The agreement, signed and endorsed by the boards of directors of both entities, allows Grafton City Hospital to operate more cost effectively through the use of Mon Health business support services, clinical affiliation and purchasing power.
Grafton City Hospital – a 25-bed acute care facility with an emergency room and a separate two-site Tygart Valley Total Care Clinic – will remain independent under the oversight of its local board of directors.
“The national health care economy is posing significant challenges to many community hospitals,” said David Goldberg, President and CEO of Mon Health System. “When community hospitals like Grafton City Hospital can align with another community-based healthcare system like Mon Health to improve efficiencies, the biggest winners are the citizens Grafton City Hospital serves. Mon Health is proud to live up to its not-for-profit mission and its legacy by stepping up to help maintain health care choice in the Grafton community.”
Asked how the partnership benefits Mon Health, Goldberg said, “As a community focused healthcare system, our goal is to keep care close to home.” Top quality care at the least cost to provide. “We can do this with Grafton because we’re like-minded, similar-values organizations.”
Goldberg said that the talks with Grafton began at the prompting of Rep. David, McKinley, R-W.Va., who suggested they discuss areas of cooperation or collaboration to maintain the Grafton’s independence and ability to continue to serve its community.
Across the state, he said, “Community health systems like Mon Health are working collaboratively and creating alliances to maintain a strong network of hometown top-quality hospitals that have a legacy of serving their communities with distinction.”
He concluded, “The people of Grafton of should be proud of their hospital, their board of directors, their staff and most importantly their excellent physicians in providing care each and every day. We are humbled to be their colleague and partners.”
Grafton CEO Pat Shaw said the business climate in healthcare Is pretty tough. So they’d been looking for a strategic partner to pick up some efficiencies and economies of scale – such as group purchasing and group health insurance. They’d been in talks with previous Mon Health administrations, but those talks suffered a lull until Goldberg came aboard.
Goldberg called this past spring and it all came together, he said. “We couldn’t be happier.”
Shaw said he was born and raised in the Grafton area and understands what the hospital means to the community. The partnership adds some stability and, he hopes, proves mutually beneficial to both.
Shaw also noted McKinley’s prompting of Goldberg after Goldberg joined Mon Health. “He’s been a really strong advocate for us here.”
McKinley commented in an email exchange, “Like many rural hospitals, Grafton City Hospital has struggled. Last fall, Grafton Hospital management reached out to us to express their interest in finding a partner to help them continue to provide care to their patients. We helped to facility conversations that resulted in this arrangement, which will ensure the residents of Grafton and the surrounding area can continue to have access to quality healthcare. We would like to congratulate Mon Health and Grafton Hospital and thank them for their continued commitment to the region and quality care.”
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