SEARHC and SCH Sign Letter of Intent to Continue Pursuing Affiliation for Sustainable High-Quality Healthcare Services
Next step in deepening collaboration
Sitka, December 22, 2016 – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and Sitka Community Hospital (SCH) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to continue assessing the feasibility of an integrated healthcare delivery system for Sitka. The boards of SEARHC and SCH and the Sitka Assembly support the LOI as the next step in deepening the collaboration between the two organizations.
“As healthcare leaders, we owe it to our patients and community residents to make the best use of our communities’ resources and provide first-rate healthcare services,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “The LOI is an important step toward realizing our shared vision for a financially sustainable healthcare system that provides for continuity of high-quality services for all Sitka residents.”
“Aligning our organizations has the potential to enhance services and improve access to care in Sitka,” said SCH Chief Executive Officer Rob Allen. “The LOI will help us understand the technical options and paths to transform our healthcare delivery system.”
The LOI outlines a process of due diligence and non-binding, exclusive negotiations relative to the proposed affiliation. It envisions the development of an acceptable “term sheet” by June 30, 2017, that will describe a new system, including specific goals for both SEARHC and SCH and intended structures and approaches for becoming the premier healthcare provider in Sitka.
“Both Chuck and I acknowledge this is a big step for the community,” said Allen. “We will take the time we need to make sure we address concerns and get it right.”
The LOI follows months of planning sessions between SCH and SEARHC leadership that included a review of findings from an internal and external assessment as well as the development of a shared vision and key goals. The organizations’ boards and the Sitka Assembly have been apprised of the outcomes and additional avenues for community conversations will be planned.
“We are excited about this next phase in the collaboration process,” commented Clement. “In January 2017, we will begin fine tuning our understanding of our respective organizations and develop a more detailed picture of the optimal affiliation structure. While keeping in mind our patients and communities, I believe we can achieve our vision and meet our goals to enrich and deliver high-quality, sustainable services simultaneous to being fiscally responsible.”
The LOI will terminate on October 1, 2017, unless otherwise agreed upon by both SEARHC and SCH.