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Published on May 11, 2022

Partnerships are Imperative to SuccessPartnerships are Imperative to Success

Mike Lauf, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, explains that collaborations strengthen our ability to meet the healthcare needs of our patients and local community.

Cape Cod Healthcare is a mission-driven organization: to ensure that we provide the highest quality, accessible healthcare to improve the health for each and every person on the Cape, whether you live here or visit here. Our vision is to make sure that not only do we provide incredible care for our community, but that we also partner with others, as well as invest in medical technologies and clinical services, to ensure that the healthcare needs of our patients and community are being met.

For over 100 years, Cape Cod Healthcare has been an independent, community-based organization. We have been here to meet the needs of our community. We’ve evolved from a small, community-based organization to a complex healthcare system that treats hundreds of thousands of people each and every year. While we are in a community setting, the medicine is very much academic in nature. We have the capabilities and the capacity to do great things for our patients—to save lives, to prevent illness, to help people recover and heal.

But we recognize that as healthcare changes in our country, we must continue to evolve. That’s why we partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital, the leading children’s hospital in the United States. We are able to treat pediatric patients on the Cape and when we don’t have the capabilities, we are able to coordinate and integrate care with Boston Children’s Hospital.

It’s why we’ve entered the Dana Farber Cancer Care Collaborative—so that we can coordinate care for people stricken with this awful disease, provide second-opinion clinics, and offer continuing education and peer review support to our physicians. Our patients can be seen by the leading oncologic experts both here and in Boston. What’s so good about our partnership in the collaborative is that the patient’s care plan is developed and so often patients are sent back to receive care closer to their homes and their support systems.

We’ve partnered with the University of Massachusetts Medical School to help train tomorrow’s physicians. We are bringing students onto the Cape so that they can do clinical work with industry experts to ensure their foundation is strong as they become the physicians of tomorrow.

Our collaborations led us to think about what is most important to Cape Cod Healthcare in a clinical affiliation agreement: to make sure we have access to physicians and to critical support, should we need it. All those roads led us to Beth Israel Lahey Health—a very strong, academic organization that is structured very similarly to Cape Cod Healthcare: less bureaucracy, a strong intent to keep care in the community, a strong intent to partner with local organizations, and a strong intent to coordinate and integrate care so both organizations become stronger. We went down the path of a clinical affiliation agreement because we needed help in key service lines like cardiac surgery. We needed help recruiting primary care physicians and also trialing new models of care so we could also retain our own. We also wanted to make sure that we had help recruiting physicians to ensure our needs are met and we are fulfilling our mission and vision.

We also want to make sure that, just as with UMass Medical School students, we are welcoming residents and fellows to the Cape through graduate medical education to further their training. It’s a key recruitment tool for us as we move into the future.

We plan to make sure that we are working together to integrate and coordinate care so as models change—as our healthcare in this country changes—we’re ready for what is next. We are ready for new clinical models and we are ready for new financial models.

We feel that by partnering and maintaining our local ownership, our local governance and our local approach, we can continue to meet the mission and vision that began over 100 years ago. Partnership is imperative to our success. Cape Cod Healthcare is committed to not only being a great partner, but a great independent, locally owned and governed asset for our community.

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