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Mon Health, CAMC join in Morgantown to celebrate merger into Vandalia Health

MORGANTOWN — Leaders of Mon Health System and CAMC Health System assembled at Mon Health Medical Center on Wednesday to celebrate their merger into Vandalia Health System.

Vandalia previously announced official state approval of the merger on Aug. 31 and on Wednesday they took the opportunity to celebrate with speeches and snacks.

David Goldberg, Mon Health president and CEO and Vandalia executive vice president, said Vandalia becomes the second-largest health system in the state and the second-largest non-governmental employer, with 12,000 employees and eight hospitals at present.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see West Virginia moving forward and we’re going to be the ones to do that from health care outcomes,” he said. “This board is laser focused on the quality outcomes.”

Ron Stovash, Mon Health’s immediate past board chair, helped usher the merger into reality. “This is a monumental day,” he said.

The two systems are culturally aligned. “And that’s what made this merger so terrific, is that we share common values and common visions.”

Health care is getting tougher, he said. Costs are up and reimbursements are falling. A bigger system offers synergies — combined strengths

Glenn Crotty, CAMC chief operating officer and Vandalia executive vice president, explained a bit about CAMC. It’s an academic hospital that trains physicians and other caregivers, has the first transplant center in the state and the busiest cancer center in the state.

He said CAMC is the only Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner in West Virginia. The award, various organizations explain, was established by Congress in 1987 and is the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence in company management.

“Quality comes first and then we worry about the rest of it,” he said.

Crotty and Goldberg described some of the synergies their combined leverage provide: increasing access through increased telemedicine usage, which also reduces care costs related to travel; improving system costs through combined buying power to help lower costs of care; filling in service gaps in areas lacking care; and a unified electronic records platform.

CAMC, Goldberg said, also offers services Mon Health doesn’t, such as neurosurgery and transplants. And access to CAMC medical residents allows more opportunists to grow Vandalia’s medical bench and keep those specialists in the state.

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