WCMH partners with Davis Health

WEBSTER SPRINGS — Webster County Memorial Hospital (WCMH) and Davis Health System (DHS) announced that they are expanding their relationship to a clinical affiliation.

The expanded relationship builds on the management agreement signed by the two organizations in 2016. Moving forward, Webster Memorial and Davis will develop more specific professional and clinical relationships to enhance health care access in Webster County.

“By enhancing and expanding our affiliation, we broaden access to specialty care not currently available to our local residents. We have a strong history of collaboration with Davis Health System, and feel this will allow each organization to strengthen patient services and share best practices and expertise,” said Mary Anne Carpenter, board chair for WCMH.

Board members approved the clinical affiliation agreement at the Aug. 21 board meeting.

Under the clinical affiliation, each organization will continue to operate as independent, separately licensed community organizations and maintain their existing board governance structure. Additionally, each partner will continue singular responsibility for assets, operations, liabilities and budget.

“During the past two years our team has worked hard alongside DHS to strengthen and chart a sustainable future for Webster County Memorial Hospital,” said CEO Jim Parker, FACHE. “From realigning the hospital to serve its community more efficiently and effectively to improving finances and maintaining quality providers, the board and administration are confident that this relationship with DHS will continue to position us for years to come.”

“With access to specialty physicians at Davis Medical Center and the availability of advanced telemedicine, we have the ability to develop beneficial, new programs or services,” said DHS President and CEO Vance Jackson, FACHE. “We are excited to bring Webster County residents a new level of specialized care.”

“Our focus is on keeping health care local, where it belongs,” said Dr. Catherine Chua, DO, FAAFP, CPE, chief medical officer for DMC. Chua, who leads the Davis population health program, said there is a lot of opportunity to share best practices, standard protocols and quality metrics and review population health data to put the patient at the center of a larger system of care when they need it.

“In September we’ll begin collaborating with DHS nutritionists to make diabetes education counseling readily available to our patients,” said WCMH family nurse practitioner Denise Hamrick, FNP. “Patients will connect with the diabetes educator via a live telemedicine connection here in our clinic, eliminating the need for the patient to travel outside of the county. We have many patients who will immediately benefit from this program.”

Davis nutritionists will also support one-on-one nutritional counseling and will offer the American Diabetes Association LifeSkills class.

“Another exciting program we are working with Webster to launch is Prenatal Primary Care,” Chua said. “Women who have non-high risk pregnancies will be able to see a local provider for obstetrical care at the Cowen Wellness Center up through their 35th week. After 35 weeks, patients will see a Women’s HealthCare obstetrician and deliver at Davis Medical Center. Cheryl Green, FN-P and Dr. Anne Banfield, director of Women’s HealthCare, have designed the “shared care” model to provide the best possible prenatal care in a safe environment for women and their babies. In addition, patients save time and the cost of frequent travel for prenatal care,” Chua added.

“Since our management agreement began in 2016, many Davis employees have had the opportunity to work with Webster providers and staff. We consistently see the enthusiasm and commitment these folks share for their hospital and community. They want to build a stronger healthcare delivery system, and we are excited to partner with them in this journey,” Jackson said.

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