Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics’ Board of Directors will seek approval for a formal partnership with Gundersen Health System at the hospital’s Annual Association Meeting on Monday, Oct. 17. If approved, the partnership will enhance medical services in Adams-Friendship and the surrounding area.
“Moundview is a high quality, financially stable organization that enjoys considerable market share and community support,” said Don Heinz, chief executive officer, Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics. “Despite this, the complexity of today’s healthcare environment has made it increasingly difficult for small hospitals, like Moundview, to remain independent.”
“In 2012 the Hospital Board began examining the steps Moundview needed to take to remain viable in the future,” explained Mary Polivka, president, Moundview Board of Directors. “A sustainability committee was established in 2013, including hospital board and community members appointed by Moundview’s Association, to carefully examine potential affiliation partners. Gundersen was our top choice for many reasons, including their commitment to providing high quality local medical care, financial strength, familiarity with critical access hospitals, clinical expertise and experience developing new services in the communities they serve.”
Heinz noted if the partnership occurs, Moundview would, for the most part, maintain its legal structure, facility identity and community representation on Moundview’s Board of Directors. The transition would largely be seamless, as patients would maintain access to their current providers, Moundview would continue to accept the same insurance carriers and staffing and management would continue without significant changes in employment levels.
“Joining Gundersen would be a tremendous opportunity for Moundview and our community,” Heinz stated. “Gundersen is a strong, progressive, nationally recognized organization that understands the needs of rural hospitals. Partnering would enhance our services and the ability to compete in a continuously evolving and turbulent healthcare environment.”
“We are excited about the possibility of Moundview joining our system,” says Bryan Erdmann, Gundersen Health System vice president, clinical operations and regional system. “We’ve been impressed with the vision of the sustainability committee, the staff, the physical facility and the communities they serve. We look forward to building on Moundview’s 57 years of healthcare delivery in Adams-Friendship and the surrounding area.”
Moundview and Gundersen are in the process of finalizing details and documents that specify the proposed partnership structure, duties and responsibilities of both parties. Moundview will schedule community informational meetings about the proposed partnership in the near future. Approval will then be sought from Moundview’s Association and Gundersen’s Board of Trustees. Should the process move forward as planned now, the official partnership would become effective at the beginning of 2017.
If the partnership is approved, Moundview will become the fifth critical access hospital to join Gundersen. The others are Gundersen Boscobel Hospital and Clinics (Boscobel, Wis.), Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics (Hillsboro, Wis.), Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics (Whitehall, Wis.), and Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics (West Union, Iowa).
Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics is a 25-bed critical access hospital with clinics located in Friendship and Westfield. The facility has been providing medical care in Adams-Friendship and the surrounding area for 57 years.
Gundersen Health System is a La Crosse-based healthcare network that includes a large multi-specialty group medical practice, a teaching hospital, regional community clinics, four critical access hospitals, an inpatient behavioral health hospital, vision centers, pharmacies, and air and ground ambulances. Gundersen’s 7,000+ employees serve patients in 19 counties in western Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota.