March 6, 2014
Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) and St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) affiliated as the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) effective Thursday, March 6, 2014. MVHS is governed by a single board of directors and will operate under a single management team. Below are questions and answers that may be helpful to the community.
Q: Will both hospitals stay open?
A: Yes. FSLH and SEMC are busy hospitals with a number of services unique to each individual hospital. For example, SEMC is the designated trauma center and FSLH is home to The Regional Cancer and Dialysis Centers. The services and their locations will stay the same. The hospitals also have very busy Emergency Departments which will continue to stay open. No decisions about clinical changes will be made without the collaboration of the FSLH and SEMC medical staffs and that will take a considerable amount of time and analysis. We don’t anticipate any clinical service changes this year.
Q: Will my provider continue to be at my hospital of choice?
A: Yes. While a number of members of the medical staffs work at both hospitals, many providers are only at one hospital. The providers choose where they would like to practice medicine.
Q: Will the hospitals still accept the same insurance?
A: Yes. Both hospitals accept all major insurances and have designated charity care programs to help provide for individuals without insurance.
Q: Will the hospital names stay the same?
A: Yes. We have made no decision to change the names of the hospitals; both will be affiliated under the Mohawk Valley Health System.
Q: Will there be job loss?
A: We don’t anticipate significant job loss at either hospital because of the affiliation. In some instances, there may be duplicate management positions at each hospital that will be consolidated into one position. In those instances, we always try to transition the employee to another department, if the job skills are appropriate. Job loss is always our last course of action. Even today, our hospitals have job openings in a number of areas and each year the organizations experience employee turnover with 500 to 600 people leaving for other opportunities. This natural turnover allows for the movement of employees to other positions within the organizations.
Q: Will services change?
A: The affiliation will help to enhance services for the Mohawk Valley through collaboration and it supports improved clinical quality throughout the system. Working together is a smarter way to use our limited resources and it also enhances our purchasing opportunities. As a larger system we have more to offer when recruiting physicians. New physicians can also mean new services to our area, services we have not been able to provide in the past.
Q: Can I still gift to the hospital of my choice?
A: Yes. We understand the loyalty that patients and families have for their hospital of choice. Your gifts will support the hospital or service that you designate.
Q: Will St. Elizabeth Medical Center stay a Catholic hospital?
A: Yes. That was one of the most important agreements in the affiliation process. The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities and the Syracuse Diocese were instrumental in developing the final plan.
Throughout this process, the commitment of our boards of directors and leadership team has been to keep our community and healthcare family as informed as possible. We will continue to communicate any changes going forward.