VCU Health System and Community Memorial Healthcenter to join operations

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The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and Community Memorial Healthcenter (CMH) in South Hill, Va., today announced an agreement to join operations to expand the range and depth of healthcare delivery for residents of Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina.

The agreement is expected to be complete by June 30 pending federal and state regulatory approvals. CMH will become a part of the VCU Health System and will be renamed VCU Community Memorial Hospital. With the affiliation, the VCU Health System will commit a minimum of $75 million in new strategic investments in CMH, including a new hospital facility, healthcare technologies, clinical initiatives and physician recruitment.

The affiliation brings together two high-performing organizations, combining the clinical expertise of the community-based hospital with the nationally ranked programs of the VCU Medical Center under the umbrella of the VCU Health System.

“By combining resources, the VCU Health System and CMH can do more to improve the health of the community than either could do independently,” said Michael Rao, president of VCU and the VCU Health System. “Working together as part of an academic medical center will ensure the residents of southern Virginia have access to our nationally recognized specialists. It also strengthens learning and research opportunities for our students and faculty.”

CMH, which has received numerous state and national recognitions for quality patient care and customer service, is licensed for 99 acute care and 161 long-term care beds and provides a wide array of in-patient and outpatient services. It is one of the area’s largest employers with approximately 800 employees and 200 volunteers. Eighty-five physicians representing 30 medical specialties have privileges at CMH.

With the affiliation, CMH employees join about 9,000 VCU Health System employees. There will continue to be a CMH board of directors, with both local and VCU Health System appointments. Under the new structure, leaders from surrounding communities and CMH will continue to represent local interests on governance and strategic planning, and the CMH Foundation will continue to be a vital philanthropic arm of CMH.

The VCU Health System already has a presence at CMH through a partnership with the VCU Massey Cancer Center that provides outpatient medical hematology-oncology and radiation oncology. In addition, the organizations have a rich history of collaboration in providing other clinical and educational services.

“Over the past 18 months or so, the Affiliation Steering Committee, chaired by Mr. John Lee and co-chaired by Mr. Denny Hardee, engaged in a thorough assessment of business relationships and potential suitors with the goal of identifying a long-term strategic partner that would work with CMH to create a preeminent health care facility for our region,” said CMH Board Chairman Wayne Parrish.

W. Scott Burnette, president and CEO of the CMH, added that “both organizations are deeply committed to improving the health of the communities they serve, and we recognized that joining forces with the VCU Health System enhances our ability to fulfill our mission. We are excited about the future of healthcare for this region.”

John Duval, CEO of MCV Hospitals, said that residents of Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina will have greater access to the full range of advanced healthcare services offered by the VCU Health System, including a broader range of medical specialists, clinical trials and state-of-the-art technology.