“This is wonderful news,” said Nancy Steiger, CEO/Chief Mission Officer for the PeaceHealth Northwest Network. “The commissioners’ approval is another step on the journey to help ensure that residents of the District have local access to specialized, sustainable and innovative health care.”
Under the proposed alliance, PeaceHealth would enter into a long-term agreement with the Hospital District to lease and operate what would become PeaceHealth United General Medical Center effective July 1, 2013. United General would remain a critical access hospital and the Hospital District would retain ownership of its facilities.
“We began exploring this alliance two years ago, after we were invited to build on our existing long-term relationship with the Hospital District and the health care that many District residents already receive from Bellingham physicians and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center,” said Steiger. “Our mission and core values call us to respond when asked to provide needed health care. We are honored to have been trusted to provide access to additional services in the past, and with this alliance – into the future.”
“This alliance builds strength for United’s future. A close relationship with PeaceHealth would better position United to grow and would allow us to leverage our collective expertise and experience,” said Greg Reed, Chief Executive Officer for United General Hospital.
According to Reed, because of the overlapping service areas and specialty and referral services already provided in the Hospital District, many residents are already familiar with – and pleased with – the care they receive from PeaceHealth.
In May 2010, PeaceHealth Medical Group established a clinic on the United General campus, staffed with physicians who specialize in pulmonology, gastroenterology and sleep medicine. Since then, other Bellingham physicians have also transitioned to United, including cardiologists and surgeons.