Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Norton and UK HealthCare formalize the collaboration they announced almost a year and a half ago

UK HealthCare and Norton Healthcare have formalized the collaboration they announced almost a year and a half ago and will "focus on creating collaborations with hospitals across the state in stroke, cardiovascular and cancer care," Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Kentucky, announced today.

Said Steve Williams, president and CEO of Norton: "Our intent is to bring our combined health care expertise and resources into communities across the commonwealth to improve health-care outcomes."

The partnership will be in the form of a non-profit organization. The board of the Norton-UK HealthCare Partnership for Quality has already approved a budget of $595,000 to grow stroke outreach and education and launch programs to fight heart attacks and cancer, a press release says.

In late 2010, the two systems joined forces to create a statewide collaboration that addresses Kentucky's major health issues, including cancer, stroke and heart disease that stem from high obesity and smoking rates. Some of the accomplishments since the agreement include a transplant program, an effort to increase the number of obstetricians statewide; pharmacy education; and cancer care.

A competing collaboration, between the University of Louisville, Jewish Hospital and the Lexington-based St. Joseph Health System, is again trying to formalize its arrangement following rejection of a merger by state officials on grounds that University Hospital was a public institution that could not be bound by the Catholic system's restrictions on reproductive care.

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