New Clinical Affiliation with Beth Israel Lahey Health
By Mike Lauf, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare
I am very pleased to announce that we have entered into a clinical affiliation with Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) that will expand access to comprehensive care for our patients, families, visitors and community. Together, we will advance the breadth and depth of CCHC’s clinical programs locally and provide seamless, coordinated access to BILH providers and facilities for services that cannot be provided here.
This affiliation will allow us to innovate, bolster key service lines, recruit and train new physicians, and keep more care close to home.
The key to this agreement is that CCHC will remain independent and locally governed, and all of our current relationships and affiliations with other entities, like Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative, UMass Medical School, Steward Health Care Network, BU Surgical Residency Program and Cape Cod Community College, will remain in place and continue unchanged under this new arrangement with BILH. This is a strategic clinical affiliation aimed at enhancing the care we provide and strengthening our ability to remain independent, while having a strong clinical affiliate as a resource.
The healthcare industry continues to evolve every day, and over the years we have continually sought ways to navigate and adjust to these changes. We recognize that strategic partners are sometimes necessary to be able to fulfill our mission, and we believe this new affiliation will help move us toward our goal of providing the best, most accessible healthcare possible for our patients and our community. Our clinical affiliation with BILH has been reviewed and is unanimously supported by our Board of Trustees. We also believe that the state regulators, who must still approve this new clinical affiliation agreement, will receive this well and will endorse it.
In seeking this affiliation, we saw it as a way to improve and enhance the already excellent care provided by our own physicians, providers, employees and facilities. CCHC is very strong financially and we will continue to invest back into the system, including facilities, technology, and people. We will continue to be bold in our investments in new programs and opportunities at all of the entities under the Cape Cod Healthcare umbrella. This focus remains front and center in our vision for the future of CCHC.
BILH has a long history of clinical excellence and innovation and we believe this partnership will serve as a catalyst for the development of joint clinical programs at CCHC and will expand access to comprehensive coordinated care across the region. We will selectively choose when to partner in clinical programs or opportunities with BILH and always have the ability to approve or decline any venture that will not further our mission and goals.
We are excited about the opportunities this new affiliation will give to our patients and community for better access to tertiary and quaternary services not yet provided on Cape Cod. With this new relationship, BILH will be our preferred provider for those services we are unable to provide here.
That being said, we will always honor patient choice or physician preference. Nothing about this affiliation precludes the ability of patients or physicians to make their own clinical choices. However, we chose to affiliate with BILH because of their top-notch, quality services, facilities and programs that will complement our own services and programs nicely.
The first two areas within CCHC that will be positively impacted by this affiliation are Cardiac Surgery and Primary Care Services. Cardiac Surgery will begin transitioning to a BILH program in April, and this transition will proceed over the next six months.
We also look forward to enhancing our Primary Care services through this new partnership. Building on our shared expertise, we will work together with BILH to improve access to this crucially important service line in our region. BILH has had success with the expansion of these services with other affiliations, particularly in the Brockton, Lawrence and Cambridge areas, and we believe they can bring new and innovative approaches to Cape Cod, as well.
We will also work together with BILH on physician recruitment efforts, and we will jointly recruit physicians in Cardiac Surgery and Primary Care, and strategically plan for each service line’s future. We are also excited about how our new affiliation will open access to graduate education and the future training of physicians for the Cape community.
I once again thank you for your dedication and hard work over these past two years of the pandemic - and throughout our history - and I hope you will receive this news as a positive sign that we are optimistic and resolute that the future of CCHC remains incredibly bright.