New River Medical Center affiliation recommendation expected Monday

New River Medical Center’s Hospital District Board of Directors is holding a special meeting next Monday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss health system affiliation.
After final review and analysis, the affiliation task force and the hospital’s non-profit board will present an affiliation recommendation to the full hospital district board for consideration at the Nov. 26 special meeting.
If the hospital district board is supportive of next Monday’s recommendation, New River Medical Center will begin working on a management agreement with the chosen partner while simultaneously conducting due diligence and negotiating the affiliation agreement.
According to Joni Pawelk, New River’s director of marketing, the affiliation task force and nonprofit board had planned to make an affiliation recommendation to the hospital district board Dec. 13 after the system site visits, second presentations, and final review and analysis were complete.
Pawelk said the task force set an aggressive time line and was pleased that both Fairview and CentraCare were able to schedule site visits and presentations according to the task force’s schedule.  When the task force made their affiliation recommendation, the non-profit board supported it and a special meeting of the hospital district board of directors was called to hear and discuss the recommendation.
If the hospital district board is supportive of the recommendation, New River Medical Center will begin working on a management agreement with the chosen partner while simultaneously conducting due diligence and negotiating the affiliation agreement.
The special meeting next Monday is open to the public and will allow New River Medical Center to immediately begin working on these next steps.
The affiliation task force has requested a January start date for a management agreement, but the agreement details have yet to be negotiated, Pawelk said.
According to Pawelk, the Nov. 26 special meeting was called to discuss the pending health system affiliation decision, not the hospital district’s current tax levy.
The New River Hospital District Board of Directors may discuss, and if appropriate reduce, the 2013 tax levy anytime on or before Dec 31, 2012.
For the past number of months, a task force of New River Medical Center’s nonprofit board of directors has been exploring the pros and cons of affiliating with a larger health system and analyzing the benefits an affiliation may bring to New River Medical Center, its patients and the community, a news release stated.
The task force reached out to a number of health systems including Allina, CentraCare, Fairview, Mayo, North and Sanford. They received interest from Allina, CentraCare, Fairview and North. The four interested systems presented to the Affiliation Task Force and were analyzed on their ability to meet the established criteria. Based on the systems’ initial presentations, the task force asked CentraCare and Fairview to advance to the second round of interviews and site visits. Task force members toured an affiliate hospital and the corporate offices of CentraCare and Fairview. The task force interviewed board members, leadership and physicians at both systems. CentraCare and Fairview made second presentations to both hospital boards and responded to multiple follow-up questions.
The task force has been exploring the pros and cons of affiliating with a larger system for a number of months. Its members include Ervin Danielowski, hospital board chairman, Candace Benoit, board member, Steve Heath, community member, Bob Esse, community member, Dr. Mark Bonneville, M.D., Dr. Troy Ivey, as well as seven non-voting and advisory board members from New River Medical Clinic: CEO Marshall Smith, Nancy Friesen, chief financial officer; Lynn Wieczorek, chief compliance officer; Dr. Mark Dietz, chief medical officer, Euretta Sorenson, chief nursing officer and Karen Lindgren, executive assistant.
New River Medical Center’s nonprofit board of directors includes the following members: Danielowski, Benoit, Brian Doyle, full hospital board member, Dr. Brian Rupert, M.D., Rob Vandenberg, board member, Bob Dawson, Linda Doerr, board member, Sheldon Johnson, board member and Richard Helms, board member.
CentraCare’s network includes the St. Cloud Hospital, Long Prairie Hospital, Melrose Hospital, CentraCare Heart and Vascular, Coborn Cancer Center, Big Lake Clinic and Monticello Cancer Center. Fairview Health Services includes the Maple Grove Hospital, Fairview Ridges, Fairview Southdale, Fairview Lakes, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Northland and Ebenezer Homes. The  affiliation partner will operate under a long-term lease.
Affiliate partners needed to disclose all past and current relationships and real or potential conflicts of interest. A partner also needed to ensure the district’s financial viability by guaranteeing $16 million in current bond debt as well as guarantee existence of a local governing board and community representatives.

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