Wyoming County Community Health System (WCCH) and Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMC) have signed an administrative services agreement to strengthen and reposition WCCH for the future. On March 14, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors accepted the recommendation of WCCH’s Board of Managers and authorized WCCH Chief Executive Officer Donald Eichenauer to sign the agreement.
As WCCH has expanded its services, it has developed relationships with providers from the Buffalo area. Many of those providers are affiliated with ECMC and/or Kaleida Health. These include Dr. Lindsey Clark, Dr. John Karpie and Dr. Paul Mason, all of who provide orthopedic services at WCCH; and Western New York Urology Associates, a Kaleida Heath entity. Clark is a provider through UBMD Physicians Group. Karpie and Mason are providers with Buffalo Orthopedics Group. Additionally, new agreements are currently being finalized through existing agreements with ECMC or Kaleida Health-related providers, which will enhance Ear, Nose and Throat, Allergy and Nephrology Services at WCCH.
“Like most community hospitals, the path to survival in an ever-evolving health care market will be enhanced by relationships with larger facilities that are able to support the community hospital with administrative and provider resources they are not able to obtain independently,” Eichenauer said. “It is WCCH’s objective to take advantage of the opportunities provided by ECMC and its affiliation with Kaleida Health and the University at Buffalo through their mutual partnership in Great Lakes Health System, which will provide better access to a wide range of health care services at WCCH; we will now look at the necessary steps towards a future management agreement with ECMC.”
The Board of WCCH says it was also impressed with ECMC’s experience and knowledge related to the governmental and human resources requirements of WCCH. Both ECMC and WCCH have employees who are represented by the Civil Service Employees Association Inc. (CSEA). Although an independent Public Benefit Corporation since 2004, ECMC is one of the few remaining county-owned hospitals in the state.
“ECMCC is excited with the board’s decision, which will permit ECMC to work closely with WCCH and share best practices and scale that will create cost reductions and efficiencies,” said ECMC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D.
“Importantly, through this agreement, we will integrate our health care service teams to identify opportunities to share practices that will enhance and strengthen the delivery of quality health care services to patients across the entire organization.”
As part of the new relationship, ECMC will also be working with WCCH to provide upgraded administrative and financial management resources and support.
“Through a deliberate and careful process over several months, the necessary steps have been taken toward an administrative services agreement with ECMC that will maintain the financial viability of WCCH,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Douglas Berwanger. “It will preserve quality health care at the hospital well into the future.”
Since October 2012, WCCH has had a previous collaboration agreement with (University of Rochester) UR Medicine, Rochester. WCCH anticipates having a continued positive relationship with UR Medicine and the services and providers it supplies to the hospital.
WCCH is a 62-bed rural, acute-care hospital accredited by The Joint Commission. It is the sole inpatient provider for Wyoming County, which has a population of approximately 43,000. In addition to an Acute Care Hospital, its services include an attached 138-bed Nursing Home, Adult Day Health Care, and an Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. The hospital has approximately 3,000 inpatient admissions, and 14,000 Emergency Department visits per year.
Its mission is to provide outstanding healthcare services and to have a positive impact on the health of its rural community. For more information visit www.wcchs.net or its Facebook page.
The ECMC Corporation was established as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation. Since 2004 it has included an advanced academic medical center with 602 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed, long-term care facility.
ECMC is Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, as well as a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head and neck cancer care, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan.
For more information visit ecmc.edu and follow ECMC on social media via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.