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April 2010 Issue

David Stern, MD, Thomas Boat, MD, and Lee Ann Liska, at the launch of UC Health.
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Important Steps Taken to Make UC Health Official

By Richard Puff
Published April 2010

The University of Cincinnati has taken several important steps toward the official formation of UC Health.

On March 1, UC announced the signing of a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jewish Health System Inc., Fort Hamilton Hospital and Healthcare Corporation.

The three organizations held interests in the Health Alliance.

The MOU paves the way for Jewish and Fort Hamilton hospitals to separate from the Health Alliance leaving UC as the system’s sole member.

It also stipulates that West Chester Medical Center, University Pointe Surgical Hospital, the Alliance Business Center and Alliance Primary Care would remain with the health system.

On March 18 the University of Cincinnati Physicians Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution that strongly signals its intentions to join UC Health once the system is established as a legal entity.

"While there is still much work to be done related to the development of UC Health, University of Cincinnati Physicians is eager to participate in the creation of a health system that works in collaboration with our community, advances the health care mission of the University of Cincinnati and supports the transformation of health care delivery in the region,” says David Stern, MD, vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.

Stern noted that the reinvigorated system not only will be the region’s only academic health system but also will have physicians and hospitals merged into one entity.

Work will continue during the next several months to legally change the Health Alliance’s name to UC Health, create a new governance structure for the health system and add UC Physicians. Additionally, consultants have begun closely examining system components to advise on integrating operations for peak efficiency and patient satisfaction.

In the fall, the health system plans to borrow money for capital improvements at UC Health University Hospital, invest in further development of a primary care network and create new programs.

"We’ll finally be able to take control of our own destiny,” Stern says. "We’re going to be a physician-driven organization that works closely with community physicians.”

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