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St. Francis Hospital Joins Newly Formed Joint Venture Created by Emory Healthcare and LifePoint Health

Columbus, Ga., hospital is first facility in joint venture dedicated to advancing access to high-quality, cost-effective care

Emory Healthcare and LifePoint Health today announced that they have formed a joint venture to enhance access to, and delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care; improve the health of residents in Columbus, Ga., and surrounding communities; and strengthen the regional benefits of Emory’s health care expertise close to home. St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, which LifePoint has owned since 2016, will now be the first facility owned by the joint venture.

“This joint venture offers great opportunities for Emory Healthcare, LifePoint Health and St. Francis Hospital to advance health care delivery in the Columbus region,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, president, CEO and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare. “Our organizations have a history of collaboration in Columbus, and we have discovered many shared priorities and common interests, including a commitment to ensuring that all people have access to quality care close to home. We continue to be impressed by the team at St. Francis and are excited to expand our relationship through this joint venture and advance this common ideal.”

Emory Healthcare and St. Francis have worked together in Columbus since 2003, when they began a cardiac services affiliation that aligned St. Francis’ electrophysiology program with Emory’s program. The heart/vascular relationship was strengthened in 2016 following LifePoint’s acquisition of St. Francis, when Emory began to manage the hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery services. In 2017, St. Francis became a member of the Emory Healthcare Regional Affiliate Network, and last year, the local physician community in Columbus was offered participation in the Emory Healthcare Network, Emory’s clinically integrated network, through St. Francis.

“We are delighted to have an opportunity to continue to grow our relationship with Emory Healthcare through this joint venture,” says David Dill, president and CEO of LifePoint Health. “Though our collaboration at St. Francis, LifePoint and Emory discovered that we share a dedication to providing the best possible care, ensuring great patient experiences and making communities healthier.”

Through the joint venture, St. Francis, Emory Healthcare and LifePoint will enhance the health care services available to people in Columbus and surrounding communities by developing and implementing quality, safety and patient care initiatives, with further emphasis in heart/vascular as well as other core service line programs.

St. Francis also will continue collaborating with Emory and LifePoint to further its efforts to improve patient and provider experiences, enhance regional access to effective and efficient care and establish new programs to support the health and wellbeing of people across its service area. This will include implementing new population health strategies as well as other value-based payment and delivery systems through the joint venture. St. Francis providers and staff will also have access to training resources in quality management and clinical continuing education through Emory, in addition to those currently offered through LifePoint.

“This is a pivotal moment in St. Francis’ history, and on behalf of the Board, we are thrilled to be a part of this new joint venture,” says Philip Thayer, chair of the St. Francis Board of Directors. “LifePoint and Emory Healthcare have been vital contributors to our success over the last four years, allowing our talented physicians, clinicians and staff to focus on delivering high quality care and service to our community. This collaboration will allow us to build upon the momentum we have established and create new opportunities for us to improve the health of those we serve and strengthen the health care infrastructure throughout this region.”

The joint venture is a new entity co-owned by Emory Healthcare and LifePoint Health. It will be governed by a board with representation from both organizations.

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