ELKINS, W.Va. – Davis Health System (DHS) and WVU Hospitals announced Wednesday a clinical affiliation that will increase access to certain highly-specialized services and innovative care for residents in the Potomac Highlands region.
“We are building on each other’s strengths to provide the highest-quality, most comprehensive patient care,” said DHS President and CEO Vance Jackson, FACHE. “This clinical affiliation means that our patients stay in the community and are assured the best medical care, backed by WVU Medicine’s renowned care and specialists.”
Effective May 1, 2019, WVU Hospitals will work with DHS clinical teams to advance the breadth and depth of needed specialty care, including neurology, pulmonology, and urology among others. The clinical affiliation will also strengthen DHS’s telemedicine network, providing immediate access to WVU Medicine specialists through cutting-edge video technology.
According to Jackson, healthcare is undergoing a time of transformation, leaving rural, community hospitals vulnerable.
“Davis Health System is a hub for regional healthcare. We partner with community hospitals and serve patients from a large geographic area. Working with WVU Hospitals keeps us collectively strong while allowing each to do what we do best. Patients and providers benefit through collaboration and sharing expertise.”
The two health systems have been working closely together since 2016 when a WVU Medicine Heart and Vascular Institute was established within Davis Medical Center’s (DMC) outpatient center. Additionally, the groups entered a joint venture for improved cancer services at Davis Medical Center Cancer Care Center. Construction to house a new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator was recently completed at the site, enhancing radiation oncology care for Randolph and neighboring counties.
“We are the academic medical center of the state’s land-grant university, and as such, we have a responsibility to go out into the state to ensure that people have access to the care they need when and where they need it,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said. “We already have a great working relationship with the folks at Davis in the areas of cancer and heart and vascular care, and this clinical affiliation will allow us to provide additional specialty services to the people in the Elkins area.”
The clinical affiliation enables a closer working relationship; however, it does not financially or corporately tie the two entities together. The clinical affiliation is defined as “establishing cooperative clinical programs, and engaging in collaborative efforts directed towards promoting accessible, high-quality, affordable healthcare throughout the communities they serve, all being supportive of the overarching common mission to improve the health of the citizens of the state”.
“We have excellent providers and specialists,” said Dr. Catherine “Mindy” Chua, DHS Chief Medical Officer. “The clinical affiliation creates opportunity for us to deliver care more efficiently and treat more of our patients closer to home.”
Dr. Chua added that DHS providers will have opportunity to participate in WVU Medicine educational and training programs. She also said that the two health systems plan to explore the development of a post-graduate family medicine residency program at DHS, facilitating co-leadership, support, and rotation opportunities for medical residents.
“We are excited about the many possibilities the clinical affiliation brings for both our patients and the DHS providers,” said Jackson.