Health System On The Move As Mayo Clinic Expands In Georgia

by Phil C. Solomon on March 3, 2012

in Hospitals and health systems

New Health System Joins Georgia Medical Community

By Jeff Hansel
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Mayo Clinic is expanding into Georgia — and has its eyes on several other states.

In a move that energizes Mayo’s push to expand nationally, Satilla Health Services, a Waycross, Ga., hospital, has signed a deal to become the first Mayo Clinic Health System site in the Southeast, effective May 1.

Mayo Clinic Health System in the Midwest opened 20 years ago and has grown to include hospitals and clinics in 70 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Naming Satilla’s 231-bed hospital “Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross” sets the stage for Mayo growth in the Southeast.

“They will become part of our bottom line, and they will be part of our operating performance,” said Bob Brigham, chief administrative officer of Mayo in Jacksonville. “So we will bring them into the operations of the Mayo Clinic in Florida.”

The Satilla hospital had an assessed value of $26 million in 2009, not counting its two nursing homes and off-site rehabilitation and sleep centers.

Last week, CEO Dr. John Noseworthy said tMayo is in talks with nine health systems that might join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a separate expansion effort by Mayo with which members retain ownership of their facilities. The Care Network now includes Altru Health System in Fargo, N.D., and Kingman Regional Medical Center in Kingman, Ariz.

Mayo leaders have made no secret that they plan aggressive expansion efforts nationally, and perhaps internationally, with purchase, affiliation, collaboration or technology advances allowing “the Mayo model of care” to be offered to as many people as possible.

Brigham said, for the foreseeable future, Care Network sites are more likely to be added in the Southeast than Health System sites, because many want to retain ownership.

Care Network sites have access to Mayo’s expertise, e-consults and services such as “Ask a Mayo Expert,” Brigham said.

“With the affiliated practice network we’ll be looking down in South Florida, up in Georgia, maybe as far as Carolina, Tennessee — some distances,” Brigham said. “There may be even some interest offshore; Puerto Rico. Who knows? Other places may be interested in the affiliated practice network and we’ll carefully evaluate all of those.”

As a resident of Georgia, I welcome The Mayo Clinic to our medical community.

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