Soldiers & Sailors enters 2-year agreement with U of R Medical

Staff reports
The Chronicle Express

Finger Lakes Health will work with University of Rochester Medical Center to strengthen clinical care and hospital operations

University of Rochester Medical Center

Families in the Finger Lakes region can expect to see more high quality services at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital and Geneva General Hospital, leaders of Finger Lakes Health (FLH) said today in announcing an agreement with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) to provide clinical operations support for both hospitals.

A management services agreement between the two institutions was just approved by the New York State Department of Health. It builds on a longstanding collaborative relationship through which many URMC physicians already provide care to FLH patients in Penn Yan and Geneva.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital

Under the agreement, URMC will work with the leadership of FLH to develop a broader array of clinical care and preventive health services, while providing guidance and technical support to help strengthen their hospital operations and financial performance.

Soldiers & Sailors and Geneva General  will remain independent hospitals governed by a community board of directors. Dr. Jose Acevedo, President and CEO of FLH, will continue overseeing administrative operations and clinical services. Without changing the status of employees, the 24-month agreement provides a framework for the two institutions to work together to improve access and quality of care for patients served by FLH.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital

“As trustees who hold the health system in trust for the communities we represent, the board views this as the right direction to serve our current patients and generations to come,” said Phil Beckley, Chair, FLH Board of Directors. “We are delighted at the prospect of working with URMC to identify opportunities for offering additional services, as well as leading our organization into the future. Entering into this management services agreement is a natural step with the intention to lead to a longer term affiliation agreement.”  

Dr. Mark Taubman, CEO of the URMC, said they look forward to strengthening their relationship with FLH on the common goal of improving patient care.

“Our strategy as a health system is to provide families across upstate New York with high-quality patient care as close to home as possible for nearly all their medical needs, with access to highly specialized services by traveling no farther than Rochester,” Taubman said. “URMC has enormous regard for the leadership of Dr. Acevedo, and under terms of this agreement we will work with him to build on the strong relationship between our two systems to expand access to care for Finger Lakes families.”

Taubman cited numerous ways in which the two institutions already work together to serve patients.

  • Cardiologists from URMC have long provided outpatient cardiac care at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, and in collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Rodriguez of Geneva General Cardiology Associates, recently began providing on-call cardiology support at both hospitals.
  • The URMC neurology and neurosurgery teams support Geneva General’s status as a New York State-designated and Joint Commission-certified stroke center. URMC serves as the collaborating institution that performs endovascular surgery and provides other advanced stroke care in Rochester for patients from Geneva who require these services.
  • Through Wilmot Cancer Institute of Geneva, URMC provides medical oncology, hematology, and infusion services to FLH patients.
  • URMC physicians provide ophthalmology, otolaryngology, urology, and vascular care services to Finger Lakes Health patients at outpatient clinics in Geneva.

Leaders of both institutions said they expect to maintain and build on these collaborations. They will explore strengthening other clinical services through consultation, physician education, telemedicine, and increasing the number and availability of providers in the region. URMC employs more than 1,500 faculty physicians, including many nationally renowned specialists, and trains more than 800 new doctors each year in 26 medical residency and 58 fellowship programs. About half of these trainees enter practice in New York State upon completion of their programs, 80 percent of whom choose to remain in the Finger Lakes region.

“We are very enthusiastic about this collaboration with the University of Rochester Medical Center to enhance services and increase access to care for our communities,” said  Acevedo. “The reputation of URMC as one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, with world-class clinical programs, is core to the decision to further build upon our established clinical partnerships.”

‘The Best Partner for Our Future’

In June 2019, FLH initiated a request for proposal for partners to support its ongoing efforts to serve communities in Ontario, Seneca, Yates, and Wayne counties with comprehensive and patient-centered medical care. After carefully reviewing each proposal with the Board of Directors, Acevedo said, URMC clearly emerged as the best choice to support the mission, community commitment, and future success of FLH.

“Residents in our service areas have for decades relied upon URMC for tertiary, quaternary, and specialty care,” Acevedo said. “This arrangement will help our health system to gain efficiencies of scale, focus on quality and safety, assess supply chain benefits, and explore many opportunities, including the potential of enhanced educational programs with URMC. Simply put, they are the best partner for our future. We are eager to build upon our current relationship to deliver unparalleled care to our families, friends and neighbors in the Finger Lakes.”

About University of Rochester Medical Center:

One of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, the University of Rochester Medical Center forms the centerpiece of the University of Rochester’s health research, teaching and patient care missions. Over the last five years, URMC has garnered more than $1.3 billion in biomedical research, landing the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in the top one-quarter of U.S. medical centers in federal research funding.

As upstate New York’s premier health care delivery network, patients benefit from the Medical Center’s robust teaching and biomedical research programs. The University’s health care delivery network is anchored by Strong Memorial Hospital, an 886-bed, University-owned teaching hospital designated by the New York State Department of Health as a Level One Regional Trauma and Burn Center and home to Western New York’s only cardiac transplant program.