River Hospital’s board of directors have signed a clinical affiliation agreement with Crouse Health based in Syracuse. In a further positive step for our region, two other Northern New York hospitals, Carthage Area Hospital in Carthage and Claxton-Hepburn in Ogdensburg, announced similar agreements.
The agreement allows the three Northern New York hospitals to develop strong professional and clinical relationships between one another and Crouse Health in Syracuse. The affiliations do not represent a merger or acquisition, but instead will allow each institution to strengthen patient services and share best practices and expertise.
Under the affiliations, each institution will continue to operate as an independent, separately licensed community-based hospital and maintain its existing board governance structure. Additionally, each partner will continue singular responsibility for assets, operations, liabilities and budget. Labor agreements between each institution and its professional unions are unaffected.
“The river communities we serve are deeply aware of the need for, and value of, a strong local Critical Access Hospital. The affiliation strengthens River Hospital by providing our patients access to a whole new level of specialized care,” said Ben Moore, chief executive officer, River Hospital. “With the ability to access physicians at partner institutions and the availability of advanced telemedicine supported through Crouse Health’s affiliation with Northwell Health, our patients and neighbors will receive an unprecedented level of comprehensive and compassionate care through a trusted local institution.”
The four institutions involved in the affiliation have a history of collaboration with each other and across the region. Such approaches are considered an important part of the future of health care.
Through the affiliations, patients will gain access to specialized care and physicians throughout Central and Northern New York. They will be able to see specialists from the hospitals participating in the agreement when needed, either in the hospital, in physicians’ offices or through advanced telemedicine, which will be supported through Crouse Health’s affiliation with Northwell Health. This will enable quality diagnosis and treatment while eliminating unnecessary travel time or delays for patients in the North Country.
Healthcare throughout the country and here in New York State is rapidly changing. Our board and leadership are committed to sustaining and enhancing the services delivered by River Hospital in this evolving environment. Affiliating with Crouse Health is the next step in achieving that goal.