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Denver Hospitals Complete Joint Operating Agreement

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SOURCE National Jewish Health

National Jewish Health, Saint Joseph Hospital and SCL Health Announce Agreement to Collaborate on Clinical Operations

DENVER, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Jewish Health, known worldwide for its treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders; Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver's largest private teaching hospital, and its nonprofit parent, SCL Health, today announced that they have signed an operating agreement to create and jointly own a new entity that will expand and enhance high-quality, affordable health care for patients and families.      

The new joint entity will collaboratively provide patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Clinical operations of both National Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital will be jointly managed through the new entity, although each organization will retain its own assets and employees. While research and medical education will not be a part of the jointly owned and managed clinical entity, the organizations will collaborate on programs in these areas. National Jewish Health places research and education at the core of its mission and will continue this commitment. 

"This agreement presents an incredible opportunity to  bring together two of Denver's leading hospitals to further improve our ability to deliver patient-centered, innovative health care," said Michael Salem, MD, president and CEO of National Jewish Health. "The strong outpatient approach of National Jewish Health complements the focused inpatient expertise of Saint Joseph Hospital. By leveraging our deep clinical expertise and unique patient care experience, our charitable missions and our focus on excellence, as well as strengthening our commitment to education and research, we will provide more effective health care to those in need. This partnership, in conjunction with our existing relationships with several other important institutions, will increase our ability to manage patients along the full continuum of care."

"Saint Joseph Hospital is opening a state-of-the-art hospital in December, making this an opportune time to combine our clinical operations to provide highly coordinated care that improves the health of those we serve," said Bain Farris, president and CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital. "Patients and families will benefit from access to a primary and specialty care network that is geographically robust and focused on each patient's individual needs."

"Through this collaboration, we are committed to clinical excellence, improved patient care and access, increased patient satisfaction and more affordable care," said Michael A. Slubowski, president and CEO of SCL Health. "This truly is a transformational partnership that will elevate how care is provided by the outstanding physicians and caregivers associated with both hospitals."

National Jewish Health, Saint Joseph Hospital and SCL Health will retain other components of their respective businesses operating outside the new patient care-focused joint entity. For example, National Jewish Health will continue to independently run its research, educational and health promotion efforts, including its smoking cessation and weight management programs.  SCL Health will solely operate its other hospitals in the Denver area and in other states.  Both organizations will retain their fundraising efforts separately from the new jointly managed venture.

A board of directors will be appointed to oversee the new entity, which is being formed as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. Dr. Salem will serve as Chair of the Board for the joint entity while continuing as President and CEO of National Jewish Health. Farris will serve as CEO of the joint organization while continuing to hold his position as CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital. The current boards of directors at National Jewish Health and at SCL Health will continue in their service to the respective individual organizations and will serve in a guiding role for the joint operations.

The entity will officially begin business in August 2014. The organizations originally announced their plans in September in a Letter of Intent and have spent the past several months finalizing details of the agreement.

Plans for specific patient care and operational processes are now being developed through a collaborative approach between the organizations. A new 360-bed hospital facility under construction on the Saint Joseph Hospital campus will open December 13, 2014. It will provide a state-of-the art inpatient acute facility for care delivered by National Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital. All services and patient care currently delivered on the campus of National Jewish Health and its 24 other locations throughout Colorado will continue to be provided.

"Patients can fully expect to continue to receive the comprehensive, personalized care they have come to expect from both National Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital," said Farris. "We believe this unique collaboration will add value in the way we deliver integrated care to patients throughout our community."

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 115 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive and coordinated care. To learn more, visit www.njhealth.org.

Saint Joseph Hospital was founded in Denver in 1873 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, as the first private hospital in Colorado. Today, it continues as the largest private teaching hospital in Denver. The hospital provides a tradition of health care that includes compassionate caregivers, stellar clinical expertise and an active partnership with Kaiser Permanente and community physicians. Saint Joseph Hospital is nationally recognized for its clinical performance.

SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization operating eight hospitals, four safety net clinics, one children's mental health treatment center and more than 190 ambulatory service centers in three states – Colorado, Kansas and Montana. Our $2.3 billion health network is dedicated to improving the health of the communities and individuals we serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. Each year, SCL Health provides more than $250 million in community benefit, including services for the poor, health screenings, educational programs, community donations and research. SCL Health was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, who opened their first hospital in 1864. To learn more, visit www.sclhealthsystem.org.

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