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Mountain States announces partnership with Vanderbilt

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) -

Mountain States Health Alliance announced Friday morning it's partnering with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The two organizations recently signed an affiliation agreement that will benefit MSHA, VUMC and the residents of north Tennessee and southwest Virginia.

"This announcement represents the culmination of a three-year search process that MSHA leadership has undertaken, driven by the rapid changes taking place in our health care industry today," said Dennis Vonderfecht, president and CEO of MSHA. "As part of our 10-year strategic plan, we have been diligently seeking a partner outside of our region who shares our vision for the future as well as our culture of quality and cost effectiveness."

As part of the agreement, VUMC will assist with recruiting specialist and subspecialists. In addition, VUMC will bring to the table evidence-based care models that will help MSHA enhance the way it cares for patients with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma.

These care models apply not just in the hospital, but in outpatient and home care settings as well. This allows us to ensure that we're giving each patient the care they need not just to recover from an episode of illness, but to effectively manage their conditions so that they stay well all the time,"said Dr. Morris Seligman, MSHA senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Vanderbilt's renowned research will bring to MSHA's service area a number of clinical trials – having the potential to benefit patients while making advances in medicine.

"We share a common goal to improve services while reducing costs during a time of challenge created by national health care reform. Our affiliation with Mountain States Health Alliance creates greater opportunity for both institutions to fulfill important objectives for those we serve, forming the framework for Vanderbilt to collaborate with like-minded colleagues to bring patients greater access to a diverse array of clinical and research initiatives," said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs for Vanderbilt University and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.

"As national health care reform continues to change the landscape of our industry, affiliations like this one will become increasingly important as providers seek to deliver the highest quality care and the best patient experiences at the lowest possible cost," said Clem Wilkes, MSHA board chairman. 

MSHA is the region's largest healthcare system with 13 hospitals – serving 29 counties in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina.

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